Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ruby Sparks

Following the smashing success of my previous movie choice, I went with another lesser known yet A-list-filled movie for Movie Madness Day Three. This one appealed to my writerly senses, and I was also craving some comedic relief after two drama-filled movie nights. While this movie isn't quite pee-your-pants comedic, I had several laughs. Okay, okay, and I also wanted to cry at the end. It's another dramedy, but this time with a traditional comedic (read: happy) ending.

Ruby Sparks

Much like Celeste and Jesse Forever, this 2012 movie stars its very own lady screenwriter. Zoe Kazan plays Ruby, the fictional character of Calvin, boy genius/writer/social hermit. Calvin literally dreams about this girl, starts writing her into a story, and she appears in the flesh (and not much else to begin with...her first living words are "Hey! I missed you in bed last night."). Figuring she is a hallucination, Calvin tries ignoring her in public. When he realizes other people can see her, he knows she is real. And he is in love.

Loving a fictional character is one thing, but continuing to love the real woman now living in his apartment is another. Calvin wrote Ruby's personality, but soon wants something different. He writes, she changes. Ruby gets a little bipolar in this part of the movie, going from "miserable" to "effervescent" to "speaks French." Most viewers will at this point know that it's impossible to control another human being and still love/respect them as an equal. Calvin learns this after an intense scene that flirts with the horror genre before skipping back over to comedy at just the right moment.

I personally enjoyed the writing and the acting--not only did "Ruby" (Kazan) write the script, "Calvin" (Paul Dano) is her longtime boyfriend in real life. The layers were almost too much for me to handle--a real woman writes her real boyfriend into a movie about a fictional writer who writes himself a fictional girlfriend. And on top of that, Antonio Banderas makes an appearance as Calvin's mother's boyfriend. Surprise!

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