Written by Charlene Yi and Nicolas Jasenovic
Directed by Nicolas Jasenovic
Starring: Charlene Yi, Michael Cera and Jake Johnson
Charlene: Are you looking for love?
Random passerby: No, I'm pretty content, thanks.
In the first few moments of the inevitably quirky romantic mockumentary (there’s a new sub-genre for you), musician/writer/comedian/actress, Charlene Yi, asks random passersby if they believe in love. One likens love to Santa Claus but most just pass her by. Yi interprets this to mean that love, which has always managed to elude her personally, may in fact not exist. That would certainly fit the intended theme of her film (Yi co-wrote and co-produced the film) but if any of these fleeing interview subjects are anything like me, maybe it was not the question that they were uncomfortable with but the person asking.
No, I am not Yi’s biggest fan. She is awkward to the point where it makes those around her feel just as much out of place, if not more so. This doesn’t come out on screen but I have a hard time falling for people who almost seem to be going out of their way to not fit in. Whatever the reason, Yi has yet to know the pleasures and the pains that only love can provide and, along with co-writer and director, Nicolas Jasenovic (who is played by Jake Johnson in the film), she sets out across the United States to ask whomever she can about love in hopes of making it all seem possible once again.
Along the way, Yi meets real-life boyfriend, Michael Cera, and the two fall for each other before our eyes. Yi may not be able to recognize it as love but those of us sitting and watching will know it when we see it. And though I may have been skeptical of the host at first, I found myself coming around at pretty much the same time she realizes she too may have been wrong all along.