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Grimes & Rowe Watch a Movie: Ruby Sparks

By Storycarnivores @storycarnivores

Grimes & Rowe Watch a Movie: Ruby SparksTitle: Ruby Sparks
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton / Valerie Faris
Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: July 25, 2012 (Limited)
Rated: R

Synopsis: A novelist struggling with writer’s block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence. (Via IMDB)

Brian: Since Shaunta and I are both writers, we look forward to films that tell stories about writers, and boy are we in luck this season, not just with one, but with three, films about authors. Besides Ruby Sparks, which we’ve been waiting to see for weeks and finally got a chance to see, there’s The Words, starring Bradley Cooper, opening in September, and Writers, starring Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. All three films have intriguing premises, but none as much as the romantic and charming Ruby Sparks, the first film in six years from the directing team behind Little Miss Sunshine. I adored this film, particularly the inspired performance by Paul Dano, and the inventive screenplay by Zoe Kazan, who also stars as Dano’s is-she-made-up-or-isnt-she girlfriend.

Shaunta: I might be totally biased, since my baby is named Ruby, but OMG I loved Ruby Sparks. Zoe Kazan was as adorable as she possibly could be. She is so perfect with Paul Dano that it made me completely happy to know that they’re really a couple, living their lives for really real. It’s like a continuation of the movie! Perfect. The premise of this movie was fantastic. How real is what a writer writes? How much do our creations belong to us, and how much do they take on a life of their own beyond us. My first novel is due to be released in July 2013, and already, as I’m doing revisions for my editor, my characters are slipping away from belonging only to me. So this movie fascinated me. The beginning was a teensy bit slow for me, but as soon as Ruby came on the scene, I was enchanted.

Brian: Yeah I’m really fascinated by the idea of how a writer’s characters can eventually become so real they don’t just exist in his imagination any longer. One of the novels I’m bound and determined to write in the next few years is about this very issue: what if the characters in our stories really did have lives of their own? At the heart of Ruby Sparks is an endearing love story, but it also has strong ideas about these complex issues, and one scene toward the end, easily the darkest and most fascinating in the film, takes the notion that we control our characters no matter what the circumstance, even if they do become alive. I didn’t flat-out love the movie like I hoped I would – like Shaunta said, it does have some slow parts, and ultimately I guessed what the final scene would be – but I really enjoyed it. For anyone with an interest in this cast, in these talented directors, in a story about a writer, this movie will not disappoint!

Shaunta: I think my very favorite part of this movie was a surprisingly creepy bit near the end. It gave me chills, because it kind of came out of nowhere and the creepy factor kept building and building. Also, I loved both of the houses in the movie. They were spectacular. And the LA/Big Sur settings. If you get the chance, I highly recommend this movie. It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours.

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