I watched this new Disney film while eating dinner last night. Which turned out to not be the greatest decision because some of my tears ended up in my shrimp salad. Warning: in the next paragraph I deter from my usual sass and get a little sappy because this film hit me like a ton of bricks and I was not ready for it.
Paperman. There is no dialogue. Just Boy, meeting Girl at a train station. They smile at each other a few times and then Boy’s paper flies into Girl’s face and her lipstick kiss is left on it. As Girl walks away Boy realizes he should have chased her and all that he has left of her is the lipstick kiss. Boy has this moment of “oh my god she could be the one” and in the 5 seconds he took to process that thought, Girl got on the train and rode off. But not before one last glance back to see him.
Then back at his office Boy sees her again. In the New York City skyscraper building across the street from him. Boy then constructs hundreds of paper airplanes in an attempt to fly them into the building Girl is in across the street. But after hundreds of attempts and no notice of Boy, Girl leaves her meeting and exits the building. Boy’s airplanes don’t reach her.
Until fate steps in.
The airplanes start attacking Boy and lead him back to the train station. But one airplane (the one with Girl’s lipstick kiss) flies around and makes Girl chase it back to the same.train.station that Boy is headed.
They arrive from separate trains and on the platform, Girl finally sees Boy. They walk toward each other. She tucks her hair behind her ear and they smile at each other. THE END.
For me, the film isn’t even about anything other than what something could be. What something could turn into. What might happen if you let go of that first paper airplane and see where it ends up landing. Even if it falls into an alley with the hundreds of others you built, maybe the wind picks one up and gives it a second chance. A second attempt at flight when you thought it would never take liftoff again.