May 29, 2010

Paper Man - 2010

Directors: Kieran & Michele Mulroney
Writers: Kieran & Michele Mulroney
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Lisa Kudrow, Kieran Culkin

"We both know you're not equipped to deal with your current circumstances, and until you prove otherwise, I feel compelled to be on hand." Paper Man tells the tale of a struggling New York writer (Daniels) whose wife (Kudrow) allows him to live in a quiet house in Montauk for a week at a time to work on his next book. And like any good writer, he's neurotic, which manifests itself in the form of Captain Excellent, the superhero imaginary friend that he's had since second grade. While in Montauk, the writer encounters teenage Abby (Stone), a young girl who, despite her own issues, may be the writer's first real chance at a friend.

To be totally honest, my main reason for seeing this was exclusivity, and there's few things more exclusive than a three-theater release. (The place here in Chicago I went to see it solely deals in foreign/indie/documentary films, and I could live in it and never see the light of day again. Only time I've ever wanted to see ALL the films I saw trailers for.)
I have mixed feelings about this film. On one hand, the mere appearance of his character incites deep chuckles and guffaws, and the part is tailor-made for his style of humor. Daniels, Stone, and even Kudrow also offer up great performances, Kudrow's stiff doctor being a pleasant 180 from her role on Friends. There's even a couple respectable plot twists thrown in there. However (and this is how I can see the film getting its 29% on RottenTomatoes) there's also too much plot; I counted three or four major storylines that, with a bit more enhancing, would have all made fine films on their own. In addition, the movie didn't know what it wanted to be--the shifts between comedy and occur without notice, and come again just as sharply. There was also a Superman-esque moment near the end, but that really can't be helped.

Oh, and even though IMDB doesn't list it, Chris Parnell is in this movie. Sure, he's in it for about two minutes, and has maybe one line of dialogue, but no reason why we can't have him in the credits BEFORE Ryan Reynolds, who's in just as much of the film as Kudrow and Stone are! Up in the Air did this with Zach Galifianakis and J.K. Simmons, and it bothers me to no end. Long story short: only significant people get to be in the opening credits.


  1. Chicago really seems like a good haunt for you. Also, I want to see new things with Lisa Kudrow in them! She has a web show but it's eh.

  2. Unfortunate. The premise sounded good, but the trailer was underwhelming.

    I must scold you though for hating on Chris Parnell; he is so totally underrated (HOT ROD!!)