“Ruby Sparks” is sweet, dark, and an interesting story of the human imagination.
The film has elements of “Weird Science” (1985), “Delirious” (1991), and a dash of “Cool World” (1992), and “Stranger Than Fiction” (2006).
Calvin (Paul Dano) is a one-hit wonder writer suffering with writer’s block when he creates Ruby (Zoe Kazan, who wrote the film).
She is his dream girl, literally. Inspired by a recurring dream of a girl, Calvin slowly falls in love with the character as he writes every detail of her appearance, personality, and past.
Like John Candy in Delirious and Brad Pitt in Cool World, Calvin wakes up one day to find his fiction has come to life.
Ruby is a Zooey Deschanel-type. She’s a cute, hipster-clothed redhead, and yes, she also sings.
Here we are thrown into a quirky romantic comedy of disbelief from Calvin and his brother, the sole keeper of his magical secret.
Like any new relationship, the film has a honeymoon phase feeling to it. Ruby and Calvin do everything together. They find each others’ faults endearing; but as anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows, it never lasts.
Although this phase is cute and fun, it’s not until it’s over when the film begins to really shine.
As the magic wares off, we see Calvin in a new light as overly possessive and snooty.
It’s not so much that he wants to hide Ruby from the world but that he wants her solely to himself. This is where the film changes genres and becomes a character study of a self-absorbed writer who is oblivious to his wrongdoings towards others, including his family and Ruby.
In the same way “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” showed when the right woman comes along, a man will change for her, Sparks shows that even with the perfect woman, things will not always remain perfect.
Sparks is an intriguing story of a relationship; although farfetched, it depicts a very real situation.
If falling in love is magic, then Sparks reminds us that it takes work to keep the magic alive.