Paper man.

Things like this could not exist if not for the ability of human being’s to envision a world far more beautiful, far more touching, and far more filled with happiness than the one we live in.

If god exists, then his capacity for creation has never even come close to living up to the love and imagination of humans.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Even if he never met her again he still found a better use for all that paperwork.

  • SophieUK

    Aaaaaargh! Another Disney piece of crap! Why does anyone watch Disney?? So the guy falls head over heals for the girl because……………….she’s pretty. What a great story. Like most Disney films. And a way to make our kids feel that their value comes only from their looks. Sorry for the negativity but these are the kind of films that destroyed my confidence as a child, and made me feel that if you weren’t pretty, you were nothing. Disney rarely does anything different. I know it’s only 6 minutes, but that 6 minutes would have given enough room for a short dialogue, showing she had a personality. But no, he’s head over heals…because she has a pretty face. Sigh.

  • Nicole Introvert

    Sophie.. I agree. I saw this in the theater before Wreck It Ralph and it made me feel angry. Of course I’ve found my opinion to be in the minority. Stalking and harrassing a woman he thinks is pretty and have never spoken to but feels he MUST be with her. Not positive relationship dynamics being taught here. She looks a lot like Ariel from the Little Mermiad. Who, if you recall, also didn’t speak. (When she was allowed to go woo Eric that is.)

  • neatospiderplant

    I guess I saw it differently than Sophie UK and Nicole Introvert. Since there was absolutely no talking in the movie, I assumed that their silent exchange on the train platform was wordless because of the style of the film and not necessarily that their encounter was actually a silent one.

    I disagree that the only reason he was interested in her was her looks. It’s not as if she was just standing there looking pretty. He seems amused by her chasing after her paper and his interest in her only really piqued once they actually interacted.

    I’m also not sure I would classify his behaviour as harassment. I didn’t see her giving any signals that she was uncomfortable or that the attention she got from him was unwanted. I suppose you could argue that she did hurry onto her train rather abruptly. But her smiling and laughing with him first make me think that was more just so she didn’t miss her train and be late for work.

    If you think the story is meant to be taken exactly as it’s shown, why aren’t you also upset that paper airplanes are shown to be magic and drag a guy across town to reunite him with a particular person?

    • http://www.twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

      I’m not angry about paper planes because they haven’t been told to sit down and shut up and look pretty for centuries.

      • neatospiderplant

        I’m not saying you should be angry about magical paper planes. I’m saying that unless you think paper planes actually have to potential to come to life and play matchmaker in for real, then you don’t really believe the movie is trying to tell a story as it actually would happen and that you understand that there is symbolism going on.

        My question is why do you accept the symbolism of the paper planes, but think that they necessarily had a wordless exchange just because that’s how it was shown?

    • Kodie

      I see they are both attractive but, what I got out of the brief exchange at the train platform was that they had a few things in common. They both appear to work at dull office jobs, and share a sense of humor about their work and about the weather – small talk at best (if it had words). That could just be she’s raised to laugh at the man’s jokes and not because she actually thought it was funny to have paper blown on her face with her kiss print. We don’t know. It never looks that neat and pretty in real life, either.

      Actually my problem with it was the magical paper airplanes. The universal theme here is “destiny”. Were the paper airplanes impressed that he tried so desperately to meet her that they fetched her to him? How long would he remember her if she didn’t have a meeting in the building opposite? She suddenly takes on qualities for him worth losing his job over.

      Mostly I don’t like stories that end with meeting or finally getting together. Being attracted to someone is easy. Getting together with that person is relatively easy. Being good for each other seems to be where the difficulties arise. So this story makes it seem like we’re supposed to root for two people to end up together after having met for a minute. As if there are no other people out there for either one of them. It simply could have been avoided if it meant so much to her that she wouldn’t get on the train, but she apparently could have lived the rest of her life without seeing him again, or she was impressed with his determination to meet her in order to measure his value. Cute-meet stories often involve a treasure hunt, but how do they end? Actually the first thing I thought after she got on the train is craigslist missed connections.

      But somehow the airplanes know they are meant to be together, like people say god puts people together. Without the airplanes, two humans standing in the same place at the same time who are attracted to each other are entirely without the ability to know without signs from the universe if they should exchange phone numbers before the train arrives or wait for the next one. If they were going the same way, why didn’t he get on as well – or if he’s willing to lose his job, he can follow her on and be late, yeah?

      It has taken me longer than the duration of the movie to analyze it to death, but that’s what I think. It’s not romantic until two people invest a certain amount of effort getting together. It’s not romantic if people just say can I meet you later? I work at _____ call the main office and ask for _____. Problems between people sexually seem to arise from a lack of forthright communication, and too much reliance on signals and signs, and being coy, and having to chase someone who has gotten away or know one’s value in the being chased, than what they actually say from their mouths. I do not need a man searching for me high and low to know I have value, and I don’t give men who chase me more credit if I don’t like them anyway. It’s from people not listening to you say “I’m not interested” it’s trying to find a way to change their mind or read something else layered beneath their words what they really meant was “I won’t be interested in you unless you put on displays of romance and make a fool out of yourself just for me before I will consider you attractive.”

      • baal

        I like Kodie’s analysis.

        • Kodie

          Thanks!

  • http://www.godlessteens.com Godless Teen

    I’m going to have to agree with SpiderPlant here. I found the meaning a lot more metaphorical than I think SophieUK or Nicole did. I think that if Disney wanted to say that “looks are everything”, then they could’ve built the beginning of the film- the most critical part- around that. I think that the significance of the paper with the kiss on it was deeper than “oh, it was just something Disney put in to fill up time during the movie”. I can’t honestly say that things like the paper airplane lend evidence towards an interpretation of the film that was that “looks are everything”.

  • Carol Eberhard

    I thought it was sweet. They felt a connection, but were too shy at the moment to pursue it. I didn’t feel it was about looks, but about that fleeting sense of connection. They both were cute enough, but not drop dead gorgeous. If they were going after looks as the theme, they might have drawn her to look more like Jessica Rabbit. :o)

  • Carol Eberhard

    And that was supposed to be a nice face. :)

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