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My Life At The Movies: Paper Heart

In a sporadic fit of rage I left her to rot on the porch. After months of enduring her teenage angst, suddenly seeing her distraught in my rear-view brought upon a sigh of relief. She had told me it was between me and another. That in our months apart she had grown emotionally confused. I solved her selfish tirade with the slam of a door and the spin of my tires. It was over, and it felt great.

A tad dark for an entrance, but it all comes together by volumes end… this lovely little wordplay about the movie “Paper Heart”. Paper Heart is an uplifting mockumentary; a scripted romance interwoven with real life stories of love. During its onset Charlyne Yi takes us to a loveless land filled with hopes for greener pastures. The dim intro takes a turn however, when Charlyne stumbles into Michael.

Now, “The First Encounter” is crucial to the whole “Love” equation. In order to qualify it seems it has to go horribly right. A frustrating spark must ignite dueling anxieties, and inspire doubting orbits. Which by conflicting; work to attract. A mish-mash of pithy metaphors more appropriately portrayed in the film when Charlyne and Michael first kiss. “The kiss”, like the initial meeting, is mathematically ideal. Not that the kiss itself is great, but rather because the moments before it and after are marred by foolish perfection.

Moving up this romantic totem the next fundamental step is to realize you are in love. Charlyne comes to this epiphany right before our very eyes. The moment she sings her song about Michael we’re reminded… ‘love is simple’. Butterflies flicker like pixels and you’re sure they will never part!

The sad thing is they do. After production becomes frustratingly more focused on their romance, they split before going to France. Now, truth be told, the most crucial stage of love is “The Test”. Charlyne goes on to Paris to finish the movie she started, but being broken-hearted she fears that all is lost. Rushing back to Toronto she decides to see for herself if this love is real.

Equipped with the crowds desire to win Michael back she instead confronts him alone. No clever conversation, no fluttering eyelashes, just the realization that she can’t go on without him. I won’t spoil the surprise, but it ends in a shoot out with the police! (I’m not lying).

Anyways, what’s interesting is that as the movie comes to a close I’m reminded of another goodbye. I once fell in love where two streets find a crossing. Time passed like the cars on the road and then we said goodbye. This time I was the one looking distraught in the rearview… let’s just hope she didn’t offer up a sigh of relief! All jokes aside, I’m proud to look at Paper Heart as a shining chapter in My Life at the Movies.

Jon Godfrey


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