We all experience loneliness at a moment or another in our lives. Unlike the typical Disney movie, life doesn’t always have a happy ending. Still, we are able to appreciate, from time to time, those overly romantic and optimistic movies. The short films Signs and Paperman are a good example of those kinds of movies. Apart from sharing the same topic, they also share a surprising amount of characteristics such as their settings, their characters and their plot.
After having watched the two short films, one of their biggest resemblance is undeniably the settings of both stories. As we can see in Signs, the major part of the action takes place in a work environment and, more precisely, in a tall building in an unnamed city. Furthermore, the most important part of the action, which is the interaction between the man and the woman in the building next to his, happens through two aligned closed windows. Surprisingly, the settings of Paperman are not that different: the action also takes place in a big building dedicated to some kind of downtown working company and the interaction (which is one-sided in this story) happens through the aligned opened windows of two buildings next to one another. The only real difference between the settings of both short films is the length of the story: while Paperman’s story only lasts a day, Signs’ story lasts for an unknown number of days, or even weeks. Even then, both stories happen mostly during the day. In summary, the settings of those films are more alike than they are different, as they are almost identical.
Moreover, we can’t deny that both of the male protagonists in Signs and Paperman are actually quite similar. Indeed, apart from both being adult men, they seem to share approximately the same story: the man in the first short film, as we learn while he talks to his parents on the phone, had recently moved from his hometown to the city where he doesn’t know anyone, and the one from the second short film was simply living alone in a big city. Because they both apparently don’t have any friends in their respective environment and are not involved in a romantic relationship, they are quite lonely. However, they manage to distract themselves from their loneliness through their seemingly insipid and repetitive jobs that both take place in a massive downtown building. Also, it appears clearly to the viewers throughout the films that both men are desperate to find someone to share their life with. Thus, considering all those shared traits and characteristics, anyone could agree to the similarity that binds the two completely unrelated characters.
Lastly, both male characters experience similar struggles before ending up with their girlfriends. As we can see in the short film Signs, the protagonist is having daily conversations with a woman in the building next to his with the help of messages written on pieces of paper. Unfortunately, after summing up the courage to finally ask her out in one of those messages,...