Like what real people do.”The resulting film is a confusing mashup of fiction and reality: Real stories from Americans in love—made more farcical by the fact that Yi later acts out these tales with handmade puppets—combined with a fake love arc, played by real actors with fictional alter egos.It becomes very difficult to tell what Yi wants to reveal, and what she can excuse the imaginary “Charlyne” for saying or believing.Yi took the idea to her filmmaker friend Nick Jasenovec, who agreed to direct, but suggested that the film might need a more personal arc.So he proposed that Yi put herself on camera as the interviewer, and that she also fall in love over the course of the film.“Because of lack of time and lack of interest of exposing my love life or dating on camera, I agreed to do it, but had to be the character of ‘Charlyne’ rather than myself,” Yi explains. When we are going on these awkward dates, it wasn’t intended that way, we just didn’t know what to say so we talked about mundane stuff like food.As “Charlyne” travels the country and speaks to children and adults, awkwardly falls for Michael, performs puppet shows, sings a twee love song into her computer, and finally has a meltdown in Paris about her inability to open up and fall for someone, the audience is never sure how much is coming from Yi and how much is conjecture. “I would never film myself, or feel comfortable exposing my life,” she says. The screen Charlyne doesn’t talk about how she feels, and I think I talk too much about how I feel, and I think I’m very transparent. I had to play deadpan and cut down on doing this sing-song thing with my words.”Still, a lot of the “real” Charlyne does come through in the film.It can feel a bit like a bait-and-switch; are we seeing Yi’s true search for love? Almost all of Yi’s friends in the movie are male—Rogen, Martin Starr, Cera—and they call her “Chuck” for short.Since her relationship with Michael Cera, Aubrey Plaza has been in a long-term relationship with writer and director Jeff Baena since 2011.
“They had been at the same party when they were young and never met!Apparently, we all totally missed what must have been Hollywood's most offbeat couple a few years back.Aubrey Plaza revealed earlier this week that she and Michael Cera had actually dated for about a year and a half around 20.Instead, her power comes from being odd; she’s a guy’s girl with a nervous laugh and a penchant for weird experiments: “I did a show once where I used these really tiny puppets,” she giggles. And the audience was like, ‘Oh, we get it, it’s funny because you can’t see them.’ But then I let it go on for another half an hour.”Paper Heart is full of pregnant pauses and smirky exchanges between Yi and Cera—each trying to top the other with clumsy gestures.At one point on a date, Cera pretends to leave the restaurant, leaving Yi sitting despondent for a full minute.