Ruby Sparks stars Paul Dano as Calvin, an author who wrote his masterpiece at 19, and has been struggling to write a new book. His personal life is at the same standstill, until he writes about a woman he sees in a dream. A wonderful writing exercise becomes a slightly more complicated situation when his creation, Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the screenplay) appears, in the flesh.
I know what you’re thinking, isn’t this just a re-hash of Stranger than Fiction?
Those of you who didn’t see Stranger than Fiction might be thinking, isn’t this just a rehash of the hilarious 1991 John Candy vehicle Delirious?
Authors controlling the external world with the written word is nothing new, and if it were just that, I’d direct you to the earlier films I just mentioned, but Ruby Sparks has a good thing going.
The story itself is an entertaining philosophical exercise: “If you could change someone by writing it, would you?” Just as any philosophical exercise (would you go back in time to kill Hitler? I think I heard a tree fall in the forest, wonder what would happen if I weren’t here), it grows tiresome after awhile. It’s really the performances that make Ruby Sparks worth watching.
Dano is a fine actor, and his performance here is no exception. I haven’t seen much of Zoe Kazan, but if her performance here is any indication, I would like to see more.
That last line wasn’t intended to be sleazy, but it leads me to my biggest problem with the film.
It felt like there was an air of, and chauvinism is not the right word, but chauvinism throughout. Here is a guy who writes the “perfect woman” and poof, she’s real, woo hoo–but then there’s the process of editing, trimming back the things he doesn’t like. It felt wrong in a slightly unsettling way, and it took away some enjoyment of the film.
That being said, the performances were great, the dog (he’s got a dog) was great, all in all a great movie. And despite any misgivings about the morality of the plot, I’m glad I watched it. – [DVD]
Release Date: 10/30/12