Home > Movie Review > RUBY SPARKS – Movie Review

RUBY SPARKS – Movie Review

I saw Ruby Sparks at the 2012 LA Film Festival, and walked in with little expectation.  I hadn’t seen any trailers and roughly knew the film’s premise.  However, I did know that it was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team behind Little Miss Sunshine; and while it’s not anywhere up to par with that film, there is a good amount to like.

The film follows Calvin (Paul Dano), a lonely writer who falls in love with a character he creates and writes about in a new story.  However, when his character, Ruby (Zoe Kazan), comes to life, he tries to form his ideal relationship with her, and trying to embrace her as much as he did in his imagination.

The best part of this film is easily the cast.  Paul Dano completely embodies the socially inept Calvin, from convincing, dialogue-driven scenes to subtle facial expressions.  Kazan is also charming beyond belief as Ruby, pulling off a “too good to be true” type character really well.  Also, without spoiling anything, her character has to make some personality adjustments throughout the film, and she plays each of them spot-on.

The film is also incredibly funny at times due to some clever situations and dialogue, written by Kazan.  The characters are fleshed out and authentic from the beginning, so when they’re put into any scene driven by the film’s magical element, they’re reactions feel real, making the comedy work incredibly well.

A lot of credit should also be given to the directors, because the tone is consistently authentic throughout the whole film.  Even though many scenes have fantasy at the forefront, there is an underlying sense of realism, pain, and heart throughout the whole film.

The main issue I have with Ruby Sparks is that it focuses a bit too much on the fantasy device.  Several scenes feature characters debating the logic of how Calvin wrote Ruby into existence and how he can play around with it.  While it’s clever and fun to watch, it felt like it belonged in another film.  These scenes felt like something from a straightforward comedy, instead of what the film was: a semi-comedic character study of a man looking for company.

Overall, while script issues can get in the way, the top-rate cast and personal direction make this movie enjoyable.  However, it had the potential to be great.

FINAL RATING: 3/5

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Categories: Movie Review
  1. June 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I hadn’t even heard of this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I loved Little Miss Sunshine.

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