Reviews Ruby Sparks 1

Published on September 21st, 2012 | by Tom Fortune

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Review: Ruby Sparks


Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano and Chris Messina.

With all of the action and sci-fi I have been accustomed to recently, sometimes it is nice to change it up. And with Wes Anderson’s brilliant Moonrise Kingdom, I though my thirst had been quenched, heck I saw it twice just to make sure. However one film stood out as a must see, the concept being the leading force for my motivation. Ruby Sparks is different, sometimes a film just needs to be a tad different. Creating the love of your life from thin air using purely the keys on your typewriter, sounds like an idea poised for success. Luckily Ruby Sparks hits the mark.

Calvin Weir-Fields is a genius novelist who begins to type a new novel on his manual typewriter about Ruby, his dream girl. He can’t believe his eyes, because the next day, Ruby becomes a real person, and they begin to have a beautiful relationship together. If the relationship isn’t perfect, all Calvin has to do is simply type the words on the page and Ruby’s actions change to what he needs. Now that is a lot of responsibility, surely more than any person could handle. When everything goes wrong, how do you react?

Ruby Sparks is a beautifully scripted film which is apt with it’s narrative revolving around fiction. It is a stunning debut script from first time feature writer Zoe Kazan, who also plays the lead Ruby. Kazan who has appeared on episodes of Bored to Death as well as Josh Radnor’s Happythankyoumoreplease (which I absolutely loved), shows talent beyond her years in writing something that is as equally funny as it is dramatically rich. From the build up with it’s light-hearted first 60 minutes eventually culminating in a scene that leaves you on the edge of your seat, Ruby Sparks is mature. It was to be expected as this isn’t your classic romantic-comedy, but still the film is refreshingly surprising in how it handles the idea of being able to create a person out of thin air.

The cast of Kazan, Paul Dano, Chris Messina, Anette Benning as well as Antonio Banderas shows the films assurity in itself and who it is targeted at. It is not an all-star cast, yet this entire cast has at one point or another been largely in the spotlight. Banderas a seasoned professional, I mean he was Zorro for god sake. And then there is Benning, nominated for 4 oscars, who can really play anything, including her spiritually at home Gertrude in the film. Combined with the fresh up and coming leads, the cast is robust and it shows throughout the full 104 minutes.

Ruby Sparks is a gem. With all the talent on display not only within it’s writing and cast but also with Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the film is exciting in so many ways. The art of the crafted rom-com is still alive and well and with more sure to come from the mind of Zoe Kazan, the film industry should be excited. Ruby Sparks may not be what you expect, and that is only a good thing. This film’s appeal will not be constricted to gender or age, anyone can find the value of Ruby Sparks. One of the dark horses for my Top Ten this year.

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