Out-of-work actor Dan Delaney (Avan Jogia) and aspiring writer Franny Winters (Eve Hewson) are impulsive twenty-somethings who married quickly, without any kind of life plan. Unemployed and carefree for much of their first year of wedded bliss, the dynamic of their relationship changes when he comes home one day with an announcement. “I forgot to tell you,” he says, “but I got a job. A real adult person, adult job” looking after the mansion and dogs of a b-movie star. As he stays home looking after the dogs, she takes a job as a junior writer on the game show “Goosed.” “We’re going to be rich,” he says. “Can I get a Nintendo?” Her career is on an upward swing while he stays in lounging by the pool, watching porn and playing videogames. Will they make it to their first anniversary as their careers go in two different directions? “What do you mean work?” he says. “It’s just you writing for your dumb job.”
“Paper Year” is a low-key examination of relationships, brought to life by strong performances by Hewson who, if she continues doing work this strong will soon lose the label of “Bono’s daughter, and Delaney. The pair has an easy way about them as they navigate the landmines of an unplanned life. Writer-director Rebecca Addelman provides realistic dialogue and relatively low-stakes situations that allow her actors to shine. Harassment at work, respect at home and straying feelings are all delicately addressed. It’s never terribly dramatic but neither is it stagey. Addelman and company are more interested in keeping it natural, allowing the characters drive the situations, not the other way round.