A one time sensational hit novelist when he was a young lad of 19, Calvin Weir-Fields is now a 29-year-old struggling writer trying to find inspiration for his next piece of work to follow up his previous success; so far he is not having any luck. Literary genius aside, Calvin is a shy and socially less adept individual who counts his dog, brother and therapist as his close friends.
One day, Calvin has a dream of a girl silhouetted against the glare of the sun. When he awakes, he is filled with inspiration and this dream girl – which he names Ruby Sparks – becomes the source of his material for his new piece of writing. As he writes, Calvin begins falling for his dream girl and he himself knows this is absurd since she is just a figment of his imagination. But things take a magical turn when the next day, Calvin comes face to face with Ruby in person in his apartment! This sets off fears that he is going crazy!
What comes next is a whimsical tale of a whirlwind relationship between two quirky individuals and the struggles that comes attached with this “impossible” phenomenon. The interaction between the characters is endearing yet witty, with both hilarious and also solemn consequences.
What sealed the deal for RUBY SPARKS was the delicate yet thoughtful writing of the screenplay, as well as the talents who played the main leads. The characters in the story were really appealing in terms of their quirky personas as well as the uncanny circumstances that they were set in.
Paul Dano did well playing Calvin, a character who is a socially inept geek with a somewhat self-absorbed and arrogant disposition. And I got to say, he does look the part;] For the female role, Zoe Kazan (who also wrote the screenplay) gave a pretty delightful performance as the quirky and bubbly Ruby. The scene near the end where she had to go “haywire” as a puppet was pretty intense and connectable.
Overall, RUBY SPARKS felt like it had a Woody Allen inspired vibe to it both within the characters and the story, and that is something I am a fan of. The tone is funny and witty with scenes that are a little hysterical, but the hysterics do not cross over the boundaries of “too much” where the story becomes hard to connect with. It delivers just the right amount of quirks and hysteria to add to the fantasy feel of the movie, while retaining the simple formula of “funny” needed to make this the light hearted romantic comedy that it is. I really loved the concept of the movie, how it combined fantasy and humour to explore the creative process of a writer. Through the manifestation of a character, the story managed to highlight the infinite realities of the imagination and the intensity of not just effort but soul that is poured into each word by the writer.
One complaint I might have though is the final ending scene of the movie. It wasn’t bad, some people might love the direction taken. But for me, it seemed a little too effortless and predictable. Something with more ooomph and bang would have been nice! But overall, I really enjoyed this delightful movie and would definitely recommend it! Though I should add that it might require some exquisite taste, some might find it a little too fantastical and quirky.