Have you ever wished that one day you could find the girl or guy of your dreams? What would you do if you found him/her? Would they really live up to your expectations?
Ruby Sparks, a romantic fantasy concoction in the form of a novel character, is exactly what millions of guys and girls would dream about. Paul Dano stars as Calvin, a writer who found fame at the age of 19 after writing a New York Times bestseller. Although though he claims he is not the dating type, girls seem to flock to him and throw their numbers his way. Even with his brother’s attempts, Calvin struggles to find the girl who’s right for him. Little did he know she would literally appear right before his eyes.
First you get the big picture of who Calvin is – a quirky, lonely young writer with a bad case of writer’s block. He goes to his psychiatrist for help, who suggests he work on a writing assignment. This assignment turns into Calvin’s hopes and dreams of the perfect girl: “Ruby Sparks, 26 years old, from Dayton, Ohio.”
Calvin sits at his typewriter all day long (yes, typewriter), for days on end, and dreams up his fantasy girl. He gives Ruby life on the page, but she doesn’t just stay on the page. Calvin comes home one day and finds Ruby standing in his living room. Ruby Sparks, played by Zoe Kazan, is everything he’s written and dreamed, and more: she is madly in love with him. He soon discovers that everything he writes happens; therefore, he can make his dream woman do or say anything he wants.
Calvin, afraid to jump into another romance after a failed previous relationship, realizes he is falling in love with Ruby. He visits his psychiatrist again to express concern that he cannot fall in love with a girl who is not real. Realizing his true feelings, Calvin decides he doesn’t want to do anything to change her. He locks the manuscript away. As Ruby starts to become more “real” and develops her own life, Calvin realizes he is losing her and takes out the manuscript and writes to tweak Ruby to suit his desires. This soon backfires and leads Calvin to discover things about himself that he didn’t want to admit.
Ruby Sparks is a typical indie film, predictable with dialogue that is humorous at times, yet a tad bit uninspiring. Kazan plays the Ruby role well with tremendous energy while Dano shows a stiffer role as Calvin. You will surely get a kick out of Antonio Banderas, who makes a brief appearance toward the end of the film as a hippie furniture carver. If you like indie films with quirky hints of romance and drama, you’ll like Ruby Sparks. You can watch the trailer here.
Overall Grade: B