Paper Man

Watch Paper Man

"A little imagination goes a long way"
  • R
  • 2009
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.5  (20,093)
  • 37

Paper Man is a heartwarming and sincere movie that centers around a struggling writer named Richard (played by Jeff Daniels) who is going through a mid-life crisis. He's lost his passion for writing and struggles to connect with his wife, Claire (played by Lisa Kudrow) who is a busy doctor. The couple has moved to a small town in Long Island for the summer, and Richard is left to his own devices as Claire is consumed by work.

Richard is faced with his daunting task of writing a new novel and is seeking inspiration. In his loneliness, he befriends a young teenage girl named Abby (played by Emma Stone) who is equally lost and confused in her own life. Abby is a troubled kid who is struggling to fit in at school, and Richard finds solace in her company. They create an unlikely friendship that helps Richard rediscover his passion for writing and helps Abby find her place in the world.

The heart of the movie is the relationship between Richard and Abby. At first, Richard sees Abby as an escape from his reality, but over time, she becomes his muse and helps him realize what's truly important in his life. Emma Stone delivers a standout performance as Abby — her vulnerability and authenticity enhance the film’s sweetness, and the bond between her and Richard. They grow close in their shared struggles and become each other’s support system.

Another cornerstone of the movie is Richard's imaginary friend, Captain Excellent (played by Ryan Reynolds), who has accompanied him since childhood. Captain Excellent is the hero Richard always wanted – a fearless, strong superhero who always knows what to say and do. However, Richard’s alter ego has caused him to live in a bubble of his own making. As the story progresses, Richard realizes he needs to let go of the childhood crutches in order to fully grow up.

The story is a touching and honest reminder that people need to connect with one another. As Richard finds inspiration in Abby, she finds someone to believe in her. Even Claire, who comes across as a distant and uninvolved spouse, ultimately finds some unexpected solace with Richard’s rediscovered craft.

Overall, Paper Man is an excellent indie film that is well-written and beautifully acted. It doesn’t rely on big set-pieces or blockbuster effects, but instead tells a character-driven story with heart and warmth. The movie deals with some heavy themes, such as relationships, self-doubt, and self-discovery, but it does so in a refreshing way that stays true to the movie’s core message. The movie will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced uncertainty or struggled to find their place in the world. Paper Man is a touching story about people, hope, and the power of connection.

Paper Man is a 2009 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 37.

Paper Man
Where to Watch Paper Man
Paper Man is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Starz, Peacock Premium, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Paper Man for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (20,093)
  • Metascore