Ruby Sparks: Chan’s Movie Review

Never hearing of this movie before, I received an email that was an invite to a screening down the street from me.  I read the synopsis – “An author writes a girl in a story and she becomes real” – and decided from that alone that it was cute.  Being on a Tuesday night and I had nothing else planned I decided to invite a friend and go see it.

This was worth my time and then some.  From beginning to end this is a well-thought, carefully planned movie.  Every moment, every scene, you feel the life and creativity breathed in and artfully shaped into precise, meaningful pieces that put together a wondrous, enthralling story.

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano, Cowboys & Aliens, Little Miss Sunshine) is a young, bright author who achieved New York Times best-seller status barely out of high school.  He is highly praised and admired but when trying to write for his new book, he comes across some trouble.  Single, isolated and writer blocked, he has a dream of a lovely, quirky woman. He quickly becomes inspired as well as bewildered when Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan, It’s Complicated, Fracture) walks into his life.

The plot sets up quickly and draws you in just as fast.  For a film with little to no special effects, you’d never miss them by the brilliant use of cinematography, set design, and acting that complements and fuses with it.  Very rarely in movie productions do you get that essence of live theater, but in Ruby Sparks you do  because characters are framed by what is around them instead of merely being a pretty backdrop to fill camera space.  Dynamic acting, realistic lines, and a story so simple yet so surreal is the subtle, magical appeal of this film.

If you could make the woman or man of your dreams, would you?  If you could change him or her to be whatever you wanted to be, could you?  Calvin has no desire but to love and be loved by Ruby Sparks, his dream woman.  Or so he thinks.

Whimsical and cute while still tugging at the basic heartstrings of anyone who has been in love or even a relationship – what happens when the magic wears off?  Will we still be loved?  In love?

Perhaps not for everyone (i.e., the male audience) but makes a great movie to see with the girls or a cute romantic flick.

Chan’s Rating: 9 our of 10 – not for everyone, but definitely a great and heartwarming movie.



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  1. #1 by Isabel on August 7, 2012 - 10:36 pm

    Great review! I was a little skeptical about this movie because the trailer made it seem like yet another manifestation of the manic pixie dream girl trope, but the questions you mentioned are rather interesting to think about. I’ll have to check this out in the theater. 🙂

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