It’s been a long time since I’ve been so engrossed in a movie that I forgot I was watching a movie. Dare I say, Ruby Sparks may be one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.
Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Benning, Antonio Banderas
Premise: Calvin, an eccentric, once successful, but now struggling author finds himself suffering from writers block. One night he dreams of a pretty girl, and is inspired to write a love story between him and this girl he names, Ruby. Days later Calvin finds Ruby, in the flesh, in his apartment, and completely in love with him, just as he wrote her.
My Review: From the start, I was completely invested in this story. Calvin was socially awkward a little strange, and had a lot of issues. He was also totally and completely relatable. We’ve all had daydreams about our perfect significant others. We’ve created a checklist of our desires being sure to include the right amounts of quirks and easy-to-overlook faults, so we can actually believe this person exists. Now for most people, we will never find our “checklist,” but Calvin’s appeared on his couch. Ruby Sparks was real. Exactly how he had written her. And despite the premise of this movie being totally whimsical, it also felt totally real. Everyone imagines their perfect person, but no one ever imagines what would happen after you found that “perfect” person.
Calvin may have created his perfect woman. But soon he discovers she is much more than words he wrote about her. She has wants, and needs, likes and dislikes beyond anything he could have imagined. So what happens when she’s not all he wanted her to be? Ruby Sparks the girl may be a fairy tale, but Ruby Sparks the movie is about what happens after happily ever after.
Real life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan are truly a delight to watch. One of the things I love about Dano is how he fully immerses himself in his characters. And as for Zoe, though not conventionally pretty, she is absolutely beautiful in this movie. She plays Ruby with such innocence and light and vibrancy, she absolutely shines on screen. It’s hard not to take your eyes off of her. And in the serious moments, and the couple works through their problems, the situation is so engrossing I almost forgot to breathe. That’s when you know a movie is great.
Rating: 4 1/2 (out of 5 stars)