"Quirky Character Movie"
PAPER MAN is a quirky comedy drama that pulls the audience into an idiosyncratic world as a failed author, Richard (played by Jeff Daniels), arrives in a small town on Long Island to work on his second novel.
Richard soon encounters Abby (played by Emma Stone), an independent, rebellious teenager, and they are drawn into an awkward platonic friendship that grows into honest compassion and caring. Richard’s wife, Claire, (played by Lisa Kudrow), is a successful surgeon. She tries to support Richard, but the relationship between her husband and the troubled teenager strains their already stretched marriage.
Though all this, Richard is supported by an imaginary friend, super hero Captain Excellent, (played by Ryan Reynolds), who shows up to offer words of support. Abby is supported by her own imaginary friend, an unnamed boy her age who loves her. The friendship between Richard and Abby helps the two of them learn to cope with their inner torments and grow past them.
Written and directed by Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney, PAPER MAN is a product of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. Although there are touching and humorous moments, the script and direction are uneven. Performances are heartfelt and sometimes engaging, with a suitably over-the-top performance by Ryan Reynolds as the imaginary Captain Excellent. PAPER MAN is well paced, and the cinematography effectively captures the moody feel of the mentally troubled pair. Overall, the movie conveys the world of these two characters, who grow through their challenges to a point where presumably they will prevail over their own weaknesses and become more whole as human beings, not hindered by their own problems.
Within this quirky drama-comedy, viewers should exercise caution. PAPER MAN contains a firm base in pagan worldview, but it still contains a positive reference to Jesus saving all of humanity. Additionally, the movie encourages the value of honest relationships.
However, there is pervasive foul language, frequent social drinking, an alcohol-saturated bar scene and one teenage keg party (initiated by adult Richard for Abby and her friends), with two violent scenes and one fairly graphic, though clothed, sexual scene. The language is peppered with “f” words, as well as abundant other language, with a character “flipping-off” the camera.
Much of this negative content is unnecessary and hinders what could have been a much more charming and intentionally touching film. Please see the CONTENT section above for a more complete explanation of the objectionable material. PAPER MAN warrants extreme caution.
(RoRo, Pa, B, C, LLL, V, SS, AAA, DD, MM) Strong Romantic worldview with elements of a pagan lifestyle mixed with moral story stressing the importance of relationships and one positive reference to Jesus; at least 54 obscenities (much of it by teenagers), five profanities, character gives “the finger” to another; man hits another man, girl hits man with book, character has hanged himself in fantasy vision; depicted sex scene between teenagers; no nudity; drinking by teenagers, drunkenness, and adult provides beer for teenagers; smoking, reference to marijuana by teenager; and, suicide pact by children.
PAPER MAN is a quirky comedy drama about a failed author, Richard, who meets Abby, a rebellious teenager on Long Island. Richard and Abby start an awkward, platonic friendship. Richard’s wife tries to support Richard, but the relationship between her husband and the troubled teen strains their marriage. Through all this, Richard is supported by an imaginary friend, super hero Captain Excellent. He shows up to offer words of support. Abby is supported by her own imaginary friend, an unnamed boy her age who loves her. The friendship between Richard and Abby helps both of them learn to cope with their inner torments.
Although there are touching and humorous moments, PAPER MAN’s script and direction are uneven. The performances are heartfelt and sometimes engaging. Overall, the movie conveys two characters who grow through their challenges. PAPER MAN has a pagan worldview overall, but also contains a positive reference to Jesus. However, there is pervasive foul language, frequent social drinking, an alcohol-saturated bar scene, one teenage keg party, and a depicted sex scene. This negative content is unnecessary and hinders what could have been a much more charming and intentionally touching film.