Is Paper Heart Hipster-Adorable or Twee-Intolerable?


The new Paper Heart trailer is as good a means as any for determining one's Twee Tolerance Index, measuring your genetic capacity to endure the soft-spoken brand of naive preciousness that Charlyne Yi heaps upon this hard-to-classify, scripted-doc hybrid.

Heart debuted at Sundance, entering Park City heavily buzzed as the cool kids' It movie, and exiting -- oddly enough for a largely improvised lark -- with the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. But buzz on Main St. was that it was a grating affair, its quest for The True Meaning of Love sending festivalgoers directly into the cold Park City air in search of the first Ugg-booted Pom girl who'd submit to meaningless sex acts in the back of a gifting suite.

Glimpsing these outtakes, it appears what we're in for is a journey of discovery. (Someone in the trailer compares the format to an episode of MTV's Road Rules, but there's something more How's Your News? about it to me.) Yi has given herself the formidable task of unlocking the mysteries of the heart, the answers apparently lying on the highways and bi-ways of this great land of ours, plus one side trip north of the border.

Along the way, she consults with various happily married couples, precocious schoolchildren, and fellow Judd Apatow Repertory Players. Eventually, our romance-resistant heroine finds herself falling for real-life boyfriend Michael Cera -- that modern icon of gawky teenage earnestness, who barely exceeds a high-pitched whisper as the tiny gates to his heart creak open.

Verdict: The kind of thing I'd watch after a painful dumping to remind myself that couples are annoying.