Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Tonight's feature presentation was Paper Heart, a romantic comedy...or was it a documentary...or was it a film about a fictional documentary. I don't know, or, at least, am not completely sure...which is the reason why I both liked this movie and didn't like it at the same time. Paper Heart is a movie about someone who isn't sure what love is trying to find out from others what it is. In the process, that person finds love. You kind of figure that out in the first 15 minutes of the movie. So, sit back and just enjoy the ride.

Caution...there are probably some spoilers in this here blog entry...

First, what I didn't like about this movie: I didn't like that it felt like a real documentary, and then once you get done and look at the "extras," you discover that it really isn't. You feel a betrayal of sorts. I think the ending was abrupt and didn't really bring together the true meaning of the film. I think way too much time was spent on Charlyne & Michael's romance. I also thought that Charlyne ("Chuck") Li seemed a lot cuter in the movie than she appears in person in the extras. In a work that's obviously fiction you can accept that, but it's more difficult when one feels like they're watching a documentary. It's not like Being John Malkovich where John Malkovich plays himself, but it's clearly a work of fiction.

That said, here's what I did like: The interviews with the "real people" were priceless. I identified with the Charlyne "character" a lot. These interviews were essentially asking "What is love?" questions to people who obviously got it right. The answers are equally priceless, and are what makes this movie the gem that it is. My other favorite part was when Charlyne was at the Los Angeles Zoo and Michael showed-up (this is before Charlyne and Michael were an item). Michael asks Charlyne to "eat and watch a movie" during the coming weekend, and "Nick" teases Charlyne about her and Michael going on a date ("That's awesome! You're going on a date!"). To which Charlyne says, "No, it's not a date, we're just going to hang-out, and eat." I seem to know this conversation as it is the same one I've had with my friends, repeatedly. My question is still, "What is a date?" (see also, "It's A Date!" on February 6, 2008, and the definition from Enchanted quoted in "The Inevitable" on April 27, 2008) More precisely, the question is, "When is it just a couple of friends hanging out and when is it a date?" I still don't have the answer to that question. Anyway, then there's Charlyne's song about Michael (he "smells just like Christmas")...y'know, you can look at this as a silly childish song, or you can see how when you really start to feel "it" for someone this is how you really feel, silly as it may seem to everyone else.

Despite the negatives I already mentioned, I thought Paper Heart was one of those movies that kind of leaves you with a good feeling when you're done. The biggest problem is that I had this unrealistic hope that it would answer all my questions about love, and it didn't.

Please, someone tell me that I am not the only one who realized that Michael's gift to Charlyne is really known as Demetri Martin's "pointless bells." (chuckle)

I'm hoping that I'll have an opportunity and the presence of mind to actually share some of my thoughts about love and relationships that have come from the last several weeks of soul-searching and having some conversations with a friend about it.

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