“There she goes, my beautiful world.”
–Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Writer’s block is the biggest arch nemesis of any writer. Pile on the additional stress of self-doubt with procrastination, a writer can easily buckle under the pressure leading into insanity of self-indulgent preoccupation. What if lost my voice? What if my well of ideas dries up? What if they realize I have no talent and was only faking it to make it? These are the daily questions writers’ battle inside their heads. This is why most scribes have a mentor in addition to performing odd personal rituals to keep them on task as they work through the process. The neurotic nature of a writer deep in the throes of turmoil and self-actualization is discussed in today’s feature, Paper Man (2009), which debuted this week in 2010.
Richard, Jeff Daniels of The Squid and the Whale (2005), is a middle aged, struggling novelist who on moves to a friend’s summer cottage for the winter in hopes of overcoming his writer’s block per the advice of his wife Claire, Lisa Kudrow of Analyze This (1999). While on retreat, spending time procrastinating, Richard begins to follow Abby, Emma Stone of Gangster Squad (2013), around the neighborhood. When confronted, Richard hires Abby as a babysitter, though he has no children. The two begin to spend time together and form an unlikely friendship, when Richard isn’t busy hanging out with his childhood imaginary superhero friend, Captain Excellent, Ryan Reynolds of Green Lantern (2011).
Richard becomes enamored with Abby’s youth, spirit, and her hands while he deals with marital woes and ongoing writer’s block. The two begin to grow close, similar to a father daughter relationship against the advice from Captain Excellent and friend, Chris, Kieran Culkin of Igby Goes Down (2002). As time persists, Richard, Abby, Claire, and Chris learn how to deal with their pasts, the present and how to find happiness.
Paper Man was written and directed by Kieran and Michele Mulroney of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). Paper Man has a good balance of humor and realistic drama which result in a genuine and at times thoughtful movie. Stone and Daniel work well as a duo and the friendship between the two is sincere and believable. Daniels is and always has been underrated as an actor who is fun to watch. He’s a diverse and a serious actor but, has always been envisioned as the friendly goofball Harry from Dumb and Dumber (1994).
Paper Man is an intimate, low budget analysis about people who are struggling to become whole and how they deal with themselves and the relationships in their lives. It’s quirky and dark at times and overall is an independent treat that is not a waste of time. Paper Man is worth a view at least once. It lends some positive points and lessons to remember as we deal with our biggest stressor in life, ourselves.
So, if you are a writer and dealing with these grueling blocks on your creativity, remember it’s ok and perfectly normal. Don’t beat yourself up too much, as like every storm, this will surely pass in due time. Have a good day, get writing, and let the wise words marinate in your mind…what successful author Kurt Vonnegut once shared, “Who is more pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”
- Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker, film/music historian, and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rick.baldwin.568
- Twitter Rick Baldwin@rickbaldwin79 and email@example.com