It’s ostensibly a documentary about the nature of love; Yi admits upfront that she doesn’t believe in love, and sets out on a mission with director Nick Jasenovec to chat with a variety of people—longtime married couples, scientists, children—about their thoughts on the subject. Jake Johnson: All the documentary is real, from the psychic to the kids, everybody, to the judge. AVC: What was the purpose behind creating the confusion?
Along the way, Yi meets Jasenovec’s friend Michael Cera, and romance ensues. We didn’t tell anybody to do anything, we didn’t stage any of the bits. CY: Well, originally it was going to start off as a documentary, and then we kind of came up with the idea of creating this fictional thing.
It would be awful to say you loved someone when you were unsure. Because there is a flicker of hope within them, where they wish they had somebody.
Where to see her: "Paper Heart" What she's done: Yi has made the most of her small roles thus far, first as the stoner girlfriend of one of Seth Rogen's roommates in "Knocked Up" and also as a page who wins the heart of Kenneth on "30 Rock." What she's playing: Yi plays herself in this documentary / story about love that garnered much acclaim at Sundance.
As part of her participation in the project, she has a film crew follow her around throughout every new development in her love life -- which gets complicated when she starts dating fellow comedian Cera.
This portion of the film is all narrative, and was written into the script, but also as part of the documentary, Yi travels the country interviewing various people about their opinions and experiences with love, and these portions of the film are real -- the interviewees are not actors.
” And I came to Nick Jasenovec with the idea, and he was like, “Oh, you should be on camera, because you’re skeptical, and it’d be funny to see it through your eyes.” I was like, “I don’t know about that.” “Oh, what if you fell in love? ” One, I’m really uncomfortable to be on camera, and two, I don’t know about dating in front of a camera for the purpose of a documentary. I was like, “That was awesome.” [Laughs.] JJ: There’s a certain cheesiness that I think Jasenovec wanted to…
I was like, “That’s creepy.” And so from there, we were like, “Oh, what if we made a movie about that, so that’s all fiction, and use the documentary portions to brace the film, and hopefully make it have a bit more weight to it? It’s a simple love story between them, and he was like, “But I don’t want to just do, like, the three-act structure, a kind of cheesy romantic comedy.” And so I think the documentary stuff is supposed to break that up, so it’s a way to tell a very simple story.Certified Fresh Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.Real-life sweethearts Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi star in a fictionalized version of their romance in this indie semi-documentary comedy, written by Yi.During her travels and interviews, she falls in love with geek heartthrob Michael Cera. Not only did Charlyne star in Paper Heart with Cera (and Seth Rogen and funny man Demetri Martin), she won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for co-penning the film’s script! TS: Do you think that cynics are the true romantics? Thus the film is part interview segments (sometimes aided by puppets) and part footage of Cera and Yi’s adorably strained courtship. Club sat down with Johnson and Yi—whose credits include a stint in Knocked Up—to discuss the film’s deafening Sundance buzz, love stories, and the pair’s penchant for pulling the wool over viewers’ eyes. But we were hoping, I guess, that if someone didn’t know going in what was real and what was not, maybe they would be more invested with the love story, and feel something more. When it’s over, we wanted everyone to be like, “All right.” CY: “Okay, you went for the ride, I hope you enjoyed it.” JJ: Hopefully you liked it enough, and hopefully the documentary affected the—you actually cared more about Charlyne and Mike, because you thought maybe it’s real. AVC: How did you reach the decision to meld the documentary with scripted material?