Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"Perhaps it's talking about destiny. It's still asking a lot of its audience."

A sweet, old fashioned romantic comedy of the hapless boy meets indulgent girl variety, Paperman has plenty of charm but is thin on content. It follows a commuter who glimpses the woman of his dreams on a train platform, accidentally capturing the imprint of her kiss when one of the papers he is carrying blows into her face. When he later realises she works in an office across the street from him, he spends all day throwing paper aeroplanes in an attempt to get her attention. True to the format, things don't go exactly as planned, but fate may turn out to be on his side after all.

Simple black and white animation effectively conjures up the urban landscape and suits the period in which this appears to be set. Our hero's round nose and wide eyed gaze make him an obvious fish out of water in the tightly regulated office environment. Beyond this, though, there isn't really much to him, and that goes double for the object of his affections. In order to sympathise with his obsession - and avoid finding it disconcerting - we need a little more to hold onto. This becomes still more of an issue as we enter the story's final act, which is just a little too contrived, even allowing for the usual indulgences of the genre. Perhaps it's talking about destiny. It's still asking a lot of its audience.

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In and around this narrative there are occasional nice little touches - the grimly bowed heads of our hero's colleagues, the mother who pulls her lttle boy away from the paper-covered crazy man on the train - and the gentle comedy rewards patience. It might make an appealing personal ad. As a first date, it would leave you underwhelmed.

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2013
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A office worker seems to be the target of a conspiracy by pieces of paper to win him the woman of his dreams.

Director: John Kahrs

Writer: Clio Chiang, Kendelle Hoyer

Starring: John Kahrs, Jeff Turley, Kari Wahlgren

Year: 2012

Runtime: 7 minutes

Country: US


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