New favorite comedienne: Charlyne Yi tagged: , ,

New favorite comedienne: Charlyne Yi

Posted by in Musings




I recently watched Paper Heart on Netflix. I didn’t know at all what to expect; I guess I knew it was indie, so I knew it would be quirky at least. But Michael Cera is always self-deprecating and amusing, it had been in my queue for long enough, and I was feeling like something art-house and indie. I ended up really liking it.

The movie starts out a bit slow, but quickly gets emotionally engaging. It’s a documentary and a romantic comedy, at the same time, without any differentiation between the fictional and the nonfictional. In that way, it’s very indie. Charlyne interviews real people as herself, but then at the same time plays a *character* named “Charlyne Yi” who falls in love with a *character* named “Michael Cera.” I’ll admit, I was duped; I didn’t realize until the end of the movie that the love story was scripted. Perhaps I was so easily taken in because everything felt so real; the emotions that the actors were portraying were raw and un-contrived. Michael Cera and Charlyne were perfect dorky, awkward compliments for other.

The movie is really about watching Charlyne Yi interact with people and get them to talk about love. She doesn’t do much talking herself, but just engages with those around her. Her actual interview questions (when shown on film) are rough and amateur; but all of her interactions have an honest, open quality to them. It feels like you’re making this strange, aimless journey across America with her. It’s very, very indie; but like a home movie a kid makes, you forgive the roughness and the unpolished story and just enjoy the heart that went into it. I ended up feeling profoundly affected, like I was now close personal friends with Charlyne and Michael. Before this movie, they were just characters to me; after this movie, they were real people, with emotions, strengths and weaknesses.

Then on the 5th, she was on Conan again (although I didn’t catch it until yesterday; thank you internet!) and was hilarious and quirky. She killed it with her “Stereotypical Female Comedienne” impression, and her melodramatic sketch with John Hamm.

Charlyne Yi on Conan – 4/5/11

Plus she does an amazing Amelie impression:


I can’t get enough. Too bad there aren’t more comedians with talent this authentic and creative.  Cook, Fallon, Mencia – can we exchange them for more Yi?