Movie review: 'Paper Year' tackles newlywed woes

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jul 13 2018 05:46 AM

A scene from 'Paper Year'

A giddy young couple Dan Delaney and Franny Winters get married in court on a whim. Dan is an actor but has no gigs, so he accepts a job taking care of an actress's swanky LA Hills mansion and her two dogs while she is working abroad. Franny gets luckier landing a job writing for a TV game show called "Goosed." 

With their iffy financial situation, reality soon sets in as Dan and Franny begn to note seemingly irreconcilable differences cropping up between them.

Paper is the traditional gift theme for the first wedding anniversary, hence I believe the title "Paper Year" refers to the first year of marriage. 

The film wasted no time on introductions. Dan and Franny get married in the very first scene. The film then spent the next hour and half documenting their first year as husband and wife, in good times and in bad. 

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Unlike most films which show that the happiest year for a married couple is their first year together, this film shows that it may not always necessarily be the case. 

The attractive lead actors, Eve Hewson (as Franny) and Avan Jogia (as Dan), are largely unknown, so they can blend in like any regular folk, making the characters more accessible to the audience. 

The only name I know from the cast was '90s muse Andie MacDowell, who played Franny's mom Joanne. She was only in a few small scenes, and only the one at the end was of any significance. Even if it was good to see MacDowell on the big screen again, Joanne could frankly have been played by any other actress.

Writer-director Rebecca Addelman presented the story more from Franny's point of view. We see the vacillations that go on inside Franny's head as she was the one who gets confronted with more dangerous temptations than Dan (whose only dalliance was with pornography and video games). 

After seeing what may be going on inside a woman's head, men who are insecure with their relationships will cringe watching a film like this. 

Older viewers, meanwhile, may also frown on the seemingly shallow treatment of matrimony. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."