Out Now On-Demand
She's out of his mind.
From the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, an offbeat romantic tale about a struggling writer caught in an unusual relationship when his fictional character, Ruby Sparks, suddenly comes to life. Also stars Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan and the film's writer, Zoe Kazan.
Calvin (Dano), once a praised young author, has hit both a creative and romantic slump. In a sudden burst of inspiration, he creates the character Ruby Sparks, a beautiful figment of his desires. A week later, Ruby (Kazan) appears in the flesh, in his kitchen - and in love with him. Unable to explain the phenomenon, Calvin can't help but feel drawn to the girl created from his own words
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Rating: M contains offensive language, sexual references and drug use
Ruby Sparks revolves around one of those high concept ideas that I generally have a low tolerance for. 'Man creates fictional girl, girl comes to life' sounded a bit like a Weird Science for the indie set, and I was primed to throw the word 'quirky' all over this review.
Sure enough, the film does trade in the slightly melancholy, slightly funny filmmaking that Sundance loves and that I'm exhausted of. But, by the end of Ruby Sparks I was won over. Kind of.
The first half of the film was more or less what I was expecting - a Manic Pixie Dream Girl male fantasy. I should've been clued in by the fact Ruby Sparks was written by lead actress Zoe Kazan though, because the film slowly reveals a more feminine perspective, which leads to a dark turn of events in the third act. Ruby Sparks also ends up making some reasonably astute observations about relationships, love, and what we expect from our significant others.
Paul Dano does reliably good work as the literary genius with writer's block, Kazan easily transcends the 'quirky girl' role her script requires, and both Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening turn in warm performances with a limited amount of screen time. Oh and Steve Coogan could play the kind of slimy twerp he does here in his sleep at this point, but it's always great to see him.
By the end, I'd forgotten how silly the whole thing was, and enjoyed Ruby Sparks as the sweet little modern fable it's aiming to be.
AV Club (USA)
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Time Out New York
Interesting, that's for sure
To be honest I have varying opinions on this film and can't quite seem to make my mind up on whether I liked it or not. I was very much looking forward to this movie from the quirky and fun trailer, and in part of the movie it is that way. Once Ruby starts having all of her different mood swings, things start to get a bit strange and kind of freaky especially near the end. This film very much reminds me of 'Lars and the Real Girl' when it comes to the imaginary female characters wanting their own independence. If you're into quirky movies, I would suggest that you check this one out and make up your own mind. I hope I can come to a conclusion in my own mind soon.
ONE JOKE FILM
It might have worked better for me if I could have empathized with the characters. The story was okay but when every character is well healed (and by definition boring) it needs more than one story thread to maintain interest.
Seven of us went to see "Ruby Sparks" and, for the first time in ages, we had a very diverse range of scores (1, 1, 2, 2.5, 4, 4, 4) - an average of 2.5. I was one of the 4s but had grave doubts about the plot before I saw the movie. We get an intelligent script, 2 great actors in the main roles and, if you can accept the integral conceit of the story, a thoroughly enjoyable film. Zoe Kazan wrote it, plays Ruby Sparks and is an Executive Producer. Some great support roles for other cast members. Predictable Hollywood ending something of a disappointment though. Writers don't seem to come up with great endings these days. 2.5 stars.
wanting something so bad can backfire
this film had moments of laugh out loud funny and a mixture of sadness and despair, its a reality call for everyone that one desire being fulfilled does not make for a perfect life, funny and thought provoking , if you were given the power would you use it?
A Quiet little Hit
My friend and I attended the preview of this lovely film last night. It's going to be a quiet little hit. 'Ruby Sparks' is not just a chick flick but a film that everyone will enjoy. The premise of a young writer with writer's block literally falling in love with the woman of his dreams and having the dream come alive was totally novel. The casting of the Calvin and Ruby was brilliant. All in all a fun movie.
Wow, what a great wee film. Really funny at times, darker and sad others- genius casting of Paul Dano as Calvin. Shades of Stranger than Fiction, but with more clever and complex themes- even your dream girl eventually isn't perfect...
A rather wonderful little film, simply put.
It has all the appearances of a romantic comedy with indie sensibilities but never accepts those trappings and builds up more underlying themes of relationships and human flaws that are stunningly quirky and funny while also finding a striking balance into something darker and more heartwrenching. Zoe Kazan has written a very broad and bright character for herself and she shines with warmth and brings in her real life boyfriend Paul Dano, in a one great performance and they share the incredibly strong chemistry needed to pull it all off. A rather wonderful little film, simply put. Quite the creative being as well when you really think about the little details.
A Spark that fizzles?
A movie very much in the Arts category, much like the aforementioned "Stranger than Fiction" though not quite as good. Music, cinematography and for the most part, script, very good. The typewriter was a good focal point but I feel could have been made a bit more of so that it affected all the characters rather than just the main few.
Considering the possible values that could be extracted, the ending was pretty mediocre and almost negated them. Maybe it should have shown his realisation that he had to change in order to keep the girl. Or perhaps this was the point: that his relationships would merely be circuituous in his arrogance and ignorance and we see the start of the next failure.
Wouldn't watch it again.
Good old Cinematic Space
Good of Cinema and the big 'what if?' This film has it in spades - and as an as an audience we want to go there. Nice casting, screwed up soundtrack. It had me. Some great 'holy crap' moments too
A quirky film
This was a quirky pleasant love story - think 500 days of summer - (different from the usual humdrum) - I haven't quite figured out what exactly I think of the movie but the music, cast and filming was beautiful.