Directed by: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney
Written by: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds
Richard (Daniels) is having trouble writing his novel. While his surgeon wife (Lisa Kudrow) leaves him to his work in a rather isolated holiday home of theirs, all the time in the world is not enough to help Richard write a worthy novel. And despite all the talent stuffed into the film, no amount of great acting or characterization can helpPaper Man – a drama-comedy about writer’s block and trying to escape loneliness through the company of strangers.
Even with Ryan Reynolds flying in as an imagined superhero called Captain Excellent, Paper Man fails to balance its creative and humorous elements with a focused and clear sense of direction in its narrative. Instead, Paper Man wears out its characters’ conflicts and personal demons, making it feel like nothing progresses for the entirety of the film. And it isn’t until the very end that we begin to tie all the loose threads together, as the changes in Richard’s life accumulate and develop into something meaningful in a single paragraph read through voice over.
Despite the cute indie moments and likeable characters, Paper Man feels very much like something produced from writer’s block. It rambles, it meanders, it gripes and gets a little distracted, only to resolve everything in the end with a twist that isn’t enough to make us appreciate the earlier hour and a half.