Wednesday, 17 October 2012
From writer Zoe Kazan and also starring in, comes a clever movie based on the would-be imagination of a not-so constructed novelist Calvin, played by the populated growth of (Paul Dano), who struggles to evolve from a "writers block" following a successful novel he wrote in college.
Far from social, Calvin lives with his dog and his type writer. While continuing to gain recognition through a book he wrote in his teens, he struggles to cope with handling routine lectures as well as constant pressure in terms of an eagerly anticipated follow up to a book that he is forever recognised with.
While Calvin crumbles under the pressure of staring blank at his type writer, it is when Dr. Rosenthal (Elliott Gould) encourages Calvin to write something "Crap", anything to show his desire is still at show. Agreeing to this, Calvin finds himself writing about a girl, Ruby Sparks who he knows all too well as just a simple imagination who makes routine visits to his couch dreams. Seeing the introduction a potential ball roller, it is when Calvin wakes up one morning to find Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), his creation, wandering around his apartment like nothing out of the ordinary.
In humorous circumstances, Calvin struggles to believe his eyes. Worried of what might become of his mental health, he turns to older and not much wiser brother Harry (Chris Messina) who to his surprise can also see the character of Ruby in Calvin's apartment.
Harry, who sees this a goldmine in more ways than others, Calvin believes Ruby to be the love of his life, the girlfriend of his dreams, literally. Although Ruby is every bit human as the rest of us, emotions, love, and the core of Calvin's created relationship is depending on what Calvin decides to type. It is when he settles for this ideal relationship that Calvin realises that the "will" and "desire" from the two of them may collide, revealing a level of selfishness from Calvin, taking a more serious approach further down the line.
As silly as it sounds, it does manage to provide quite a humorous and clever concept, with a story mixed with the ingredients of a mundane relationship as well as the ups and downs of life. Obviously it would be ideal for us all to control our girlfriends, but sooner or later a karma of some sort will bite us in the ass!. What Ruby Sparks does so well is focus on the drama as well as the onscreen chemistry of Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan.
As far from convincing Ruby Sparks might actually be, the film takes you to a point so far beyond fiction that you forget that Ruby was created by Calvin. A fine example is when she pleads with Calvin to meet his parents; a scene that becomes all too strange. Calvin is happy to convince his mother (Jane Anne Thomas) and her boyfriend Mort (Antonio Banderas) of his newly found relationship.
A stand out performance from Paul Dano who I am growing to love lately. His acting abilities shine brightly, as they did in Looper. His overall presence, particularly in this movie and in my opinion was made for him to represent, resulting in some fine onscreen credentials. Zoe Kazan is also a joy to watch as she plays whatever she has to because after all, she is a puppet awaiting Calvin's fingertips.
Overall: Ruby Sparks was definitely one of the surprise flicks of the year. A clever, Indie premise supplied with comedic humour, drama, romance and heartbreak; not to mention Paul Dano turning in a stellar performance.