When last seen in his breakthrough film, Juno, Michael Cera was sitting on a stoop strumming a simple tune on an acoustic guitar. His musical abilities, such as they are, gain more extensive exposure in Paper Heart, a sort of semi-documentary film directed by Nick Jasenovec in which he appears playing a fictional character named Michael Cera, along with the comedienne Charlyne Yi, playing a fictional character named Charlyne Yi, and another actor playing the part of Nick Jasenovec. Cera and Yi not only star in the movie as versions of themselves, they also wrote and performed the background score. They had help, mostly in the form of musician Alden Penner, who gets some writing credits and plays various instruments. Still, the music has the feel of a bunch of amateurs playing the kinds of instruments that might be found in a children's playroom. And it has a childlike appeal. The cues are short, most running from 30 seconds to two minutes, and simple. Like the movie they accompany, they are meant to be cute and charming, and in the film they may contribute to the overall mood. On disc, by themselves, they come off more like the most rudimentary musical ideas, put down on tape so that they might be developed into something later.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann