Feature Writing Movie Review

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 05-10-2012


Paper Man Movie Review

            What would you think of a married man who regularly talks to Captain Excellent, his superhero imaginary friend? This is just one of many quirks of Richard Dunn, the main character in Paper Man. Dunn, played by Jeff Daniels, is a writer struggling to start his second novel. His wife, played by Lisa Kudrow, suggests that he seclude himself on Long Island to work on his book. Abby, played by Emma Stone, gets to know Dunn and encourages his writing.

This 2009 comic drama, directed by Kieran and Michele Mulrooney, presents the delightful relationship between Abby and Richard. They are truly interested in each other, not in a sexual way. They talk about important things on a personal level. Abby finds and reads a copy of his first novel, The Renderer, and she encourages him to not give up on his writing. He helps her cope emotionally with a traumatic childhood experience.

Other characters in the movie add a good blend of humor. Captain Excellent, played by Ryan Reynolds, wears a skin-tight costume with a cape in bright, primary colors. He tries to get Richard to grow up. He encourages Richard by talking in a faster-than-a-speeding-bullet voice, telling him that he is “going to save the world from peril”. Richard talks to and even wrestles with Captain Excellent. Richard has to be careful about his interaction with Captain Excellent, so the people around him won’t think he’s just talking to himself.

Lisa Kudrow plays Richard’s wife, a vascular surgeon who practices in New York City. When she visits him on the island, he lies and tells her he has been learning how to cook. There is a hilarious scene where he pretends to know what to do with a whole, raw fish. She can tell something has changed him; he is behaving suspiciously.

Emma Stone’s performance is what really shines in Paper Man. Abby’s chemistry with Richard is much different from typical relationship dramas. There is a sweet oddness that develops with a few surprising twists and turns. Hunter Parrish and Kieran Culkin also compete for Abby’s attention. Emma Stone is able to portray an “everyday” feeling to her character, yet the audience knows that there is something special about her. The movie has a very heartfelt quality overall. I give it 3.7/5 stars.




1 Comment So Far

Ariel See on 7 December, 2012 at 2:54 am #

I love to watch this movie. The story and characters are great. Thanks for sharing your insights.