Release Date: 01/18/11
Director: Kieran Mulroney
Actors: Lisa Kudrow, Emma Stone, Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds
Synopsis: In the tradition of Lost In Translation and The Squid and the Whale, Paper Man is a wonderfully quirky drama about people trying desperately to find the same joy in real life as they do in their imagination. Golden Globe® and Tony® nominee Jeff Daniels stars as Richard Dunn, a no-hit wonder of a novelist squirreled away in Long Island by his sensible, surgeon wife (Emmy® winner Lisa Kudrow) to get cracking on his next novel. Richard isn’t totally alone: along for the ride is a local teen (Emma Stone in a breakout performance) who befriends Richard after he hires her to be a babysitter…his babysitter. Plus, there’s Richard’s imaginary best friend from childhood, Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds), a confidante always ready to prod him along towards adulthood, whether Richard wants it or not. Aching, funny, and true, Paper Man is a genuinely offbeat gem that marks the promising debut of writing and directing team Kieran and Michele Mulroney.
Review: Ryan Reynolds really isn’t shy about his desire to be a super hero is he? Can’t blame the guy I’m right there with him…just minus the 18 pack of abs and bank account. Mind you Paper Man is not really a super hero film he just happens to be wearing the spandex, the film is really about a man trapped by his own lack of ability to grow up who happens to have managed to keep his imaginary friend around for 40 years.
Lets back up a bit because Captain Excellence (Reynolds) is not the star of this movie he’s more of a plot device or side kick. Richard (Daniels) is the star and he’s got some major issues with life and how it works. Richard is a man-child but not always a fun one, mostly he’s painfully awkward and unsure just what it is he should be doing with his time, which in reality he should be working on the deadline looming over him for his second book. Being a classic avoider of responsibility he befriends Abby (Stone) a local girl and hires her to be his friend (for lack of a better term) and begins the task of never really working on anything of real importance.
The movie is hard to classify, it’s not comedy or drama of any sort really stuff just sort of happens in a very melancholy form of happenstance that boards on humor enough to call comedy, however it just feels undecided and tries to hard to push the pieces into place.
Overall the film is enjoyable and worth checking out if you know what to expect, people renting this expecting comedy or even action (if they didn’t read the box and judged on cover alone) will likely be disappointed the rest will enjoy this one and forget it soon there after.