Paperback Review
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For the most part, older generations don’t have a lot of good things to say about Millennials. Now in their 20s and early 30s, this generation is known as directionless and self-obsessed, focused more on their selfies than their future. And the indie rom-com Paperback doesn’t do a whole lot to battle the stereotypes.

Paperback stars writer/director Adam Bowers as Rob, an aimless 20-something who works at a pizza place while he dreams of publishing the Great American Novel. One day, he meets Emily (Dreama Walker), the woman of his dreams. She’s cute, she’s funny, and she’s actually interested in him. But then he runs into her at a party, where he discovers that Emily is married to his best friend, Jason (Colin Contreary), who’s recently moved back to teach at his alma mater. And Rob finds himself struggling to choose between friendship and love.

  
 
While it sets out to be a charming Millennial rom-com, Paperback is mostly the story of a bunch of selfish and immature characters trying to justify their selfish behavior. Though Rob and Emily may give half a thought to the consequences of their actions, it doesn’t really matter—and it’s a matter of days before they’re seemingly madly in love. Emily seems to feel little or no remorse, and Rob allows himself to believe that he’s actually helping his friend by giving him an extra push out of a marriage that’s less than blissful.

Not only is he completely misguided, but Rob is also an entirely bland character who spends a lot of time wallowing in his blandness. He’s moody and monotone, and though he talks about working on a novel, he doesn’t seem to have the ambition to make much of anything actually happen. Of course, his lack of ambition and potential is apparently what Emily finds attractive—that neither of the will ever amount to much of anything.

Emily, meanwhile, is a flat and minimally developed character. She’s cute and charming in that aimless-20-something kind of way, but there’s really not much to her besides her lack of commitment to her relationships.

Really, the only truly likable character here is brutally honest single mom Samantha (Genevieve Jones), Rob’s friend and coworker, who does what she can to support Rob while telling him what an idiot he’s being. She’s the voice of reason in this whole self-centered romance—but she still isn’t enough to redeem it.

To be fair, at least Paperback isn’t filled with the same chick flick clichés. But the flat characters are mostly just Millennial stereotypes—and their self-centered and ill-advised actions make it a frustrating film.


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