Monday, February 21, 2011

Paper Man

Jeff Daniels plays an author who moves to Long Island to get over his writer's block.  He's taking time away from his wife played by Lisa Kudrow, and starts an unlikely relationship with a local high school girl played by Emma Stone.  Oh yeah, and he also has an imaginary super hero friend played by Ryan Reynolds.

This dramedy is wonderfully off-beat, with the perfect cast, really strong writing, and some great visuals.  It's 'Lost in Translation' as if written by 'Greenberg's Noah Baumbach, and maybe with a touch of Charlie Kaufman thrown in. 

Jeff Daniels is always great in both comedy and drama ('Dumb and Dumber', 'Pleasantville', 'The Squid and the Whale'), and he blends that talent perfectly here. And it's always interesting to see what non-traditional film choices Ryan Reynolds makes (like 'Bured' and 'The Nines'), as well as co-star Kieran Culkin ('Lymelife', 'Igby Goes Down').  And 'Easy A's Emma Stone gives a really strong, moving performance.

When I go to a film festival like Sundance, this is the kind of film I hope to find.  I can't fathom why it didn't get a wider distribution or more recognition.  Although the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes aren't as glowing as mine, so I may be alone in my high praise.  But if you like dramedies as much as I do, this one's certainly worth checking out on DVD and Blu-Ray. 

Grade: A

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