Brief summary: I know the poster looks incredibly stupid, but this movie is AWESOME. They show it on cable (Showtime) a lot, and every time it’s on, I watch it. So what do you think the film is about, from the poster? It’s not a cheesy comedy, that’s for sure.
Paper Man is about a lonely, awkward dude Richard (Jeff Daniels) who has an imaginary friend (“Captain Excellent”– or, Ryan Reynolds in costume), and has had him since he was a little kid. Captain Excellent always helps our man Richard, whenever he is feeling down, uninspired, or confused. And he always comes to the rescue whenever Richard needs a decision, or needs a good lie. Long story short, Richard would be completely lost without his imaginary friend/superhero.
So, Richard and his much more successful & social wife (Lisa Kudrow) decide to spend winter weekends in Montauk, the furthest point of Long Island, NY, mainly to help Richard write his next novel. During the week, it’s just Richard, and on the weekend, he reunites with the wife.
While in Montauk, Richard meets Abby (Emma Stone), who is equally awkward. What follows is a lot of interesting stuff, and some plot twists…. we learn a lot about all of the characters, including ones we don’t see onscreen much. The story is incredibly well-written, dark and funny. Wonderful soundtrack, and believable, vulnerable characters you actually care about.
Will Richard ever let go of his imaginary friend? Will Abby come to accept her deep regrets? Will Richard and his wife stay together through a bunch of drama? And what will come of the mysterious boy who constantly stalks (and/or protects?) Abby?
I fucking love this movie, and can watch it over and over and over again. It’s just that good. Superbly acted, and for a small film, it has a lot of big emotions and huge character development. Written and directed by Kieran Mulroney and his wife, Michele (Kieran is the brother of actor Dermot Mulroney).