Ruby Sparks (2012)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy


Ruby Sparks (2012) Poster

A novelist struggling with writer's block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.


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  • Zoe Kazan in Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Toni Trucks at an event for Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Paul Dano at an event for Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Paul Dano in Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening in Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris at an event for Ruby Sparks (2012)

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5 August 2012 | ferguson-6
7
| Calvin says ... bark like a dog
Greetings again from the darkness. Well it took six years, but co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris finally deliver their follow-up to the smash hit Little Miss Sunshine. With a script from first time screenwriter Zoe Kazan (granddaughter of legendary director Elia Kazan), we get an odd mash-up of would-be Woody Allen, Charlie Kaufman, Stranger Than Fiction, and a Twilight Zone episode.

The story begins almost as a whimsical fantasy. Paul Dano plays Calvin, a blocked writer 10 years after writing the next great American novel, while he was still a teenager. The necessary comparisons to JD Salinger are made, and we witness Calvin as a socially-inept type who was never comfortable with his early success, and now can't find a way to move on with life. Given a writing assignment by his shrink (Elliott Gould), Calvin discovers the true power of the written word.

After a dream of meeting a lovely girl in the park, Calvin's fingers tear through his manual typewriter and develop a story around his literal dream girl. And literal means literal. He runs into her downstairs. His creation has become his creation. Once he realizes they aren't going to lock him away for insanity, Calvin and Ruby begin a real relationship. Well as real as it can be with a girl who is not really real and whose actions can be changed simply by typing words on a page. If you think this sounds like a male fantasy, then you are in agreement with Calvin's brother (Chris Messina).

A trip to visit the brothers' mothers (Annette Bening) and her boyfriend (Antonio Banderas) adds some humorous scenes while also signaling the beginning of trouble for Ruby and Calvin. It turns out that bringing your invented dream girl into the real world doesn't always work so well. Who would have thought? There is much humor in the film including Steve Coogan as Calvin's mentor. Deborah Ann Woll has a scene as Calvin's ex-girlfriend and it is probably the best written scene in the film. Really good insight into how two people's view of the same relationship can vary greatly.

The story can be looked at from different perspectives. It certainly serves as insight into how a writer's mind can work. Many writers need a muse ... but few get to create their own! More importantly, it makes a statement on how we (well, not me) often try to control and manipulate the other person in our relationships. This is a sterling reminder to be careful what you ask for ... you just might get it. www.moviereviewsfromthedark.wordpress.com

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