Entertainment Magazine

Ruby Sparks

Posted on the 03 August 2012 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
Ruby Sparks At the age of 19, Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) was once the toast of the literary community with his debut novel. Now, pushing 30, Calvin is an emotional, uninspired, anti-social wreck, who can barely muster the courage and energy to spend time with his brother (Chris Messina) or shrink (Elliot Gould), let alone make friends or meet a nice girl. One night, as part of a vision, Calvin dreams about the titular character and in a moment of great inspiration, begins to write a story about her. Then, the following morning and without explanation, Ruby (Zoe Kazan) appears in his kitchen as a real flesh and blood person. Following the expected shock response, Calvin realizes that, through the written word, he has complete control and domination over every aspect of his grandest creation. The husband and wife directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris follow up their immensely successful "Little Miss Sunshine" with "Ruby Sparks", another surprising, entertaining, and somewhat dark  film, this time a provocative interpretation of the Frankenstein story. Written by its star, Zoe Kazan (granddaughter of Elia) delves deep into the psychological implications of her story and takes it to places one would never suspect during the first act (there is a wildly dark and imaginative sequence towards the ends where Kazan acts as Dano's literal puppet) and crafts something that is somehow light and funny in parts and serious minded and heavy in others, tying them both together seemlessly. Dano's an actor I haven't always admired, but he does a tremendous job here in a pretty demanding role. Messina and Gould offer nice support as do Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas, playing Dano's mother and step-father. Its rare when a movie can succeed so well in just one tone, but here Dayton, Faris, and Kazan manage to blend several different ones, and do so in such a disarming and enjoyable fashion.

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