Ruby Sparks

First Hit:  Yes a little schmaltzy, but it worked well and I enjoyed it.

I like the idea of a quirky writer, lost in life and in himself trying to find a way to write.

Paul Dano plays writer Calvin Weir-Fields who wrote a bestseller when he was 19 years old but has done little in the last 10 years. His psychologist Dr. Rosenthal (played by Elliot Gould) gives him a reading assignment.

Calvin begins to write about a woman in his dreams – he names her “Ruby Sparks”. Calvin is highly motivated and writes hundreds of pages about Ruby. One morning after falling asleep at his computer, he walks downstairs and there she is cooking breakfast and acting as if they’ve been together for months.

Outside of his Dr., his brother is the only other person he speaks with, so with Ruby trying to make a meal, he calls his brother, Harry (played by Chris Messina), asking his advice. Harry comes over meets Ruby, and thinks she’s an actress Calvin has hired to show he has friends and can have a girlfriend. But Calvin pleads with his brother to believe that Ruby came to life out of his mind and writing.

To prove it, Calvin rescripts Ruby in his book and, low and behold, she complies by behaving as the book calls for. As Ruby (played by Zoe Kazan) becomes restless and wants to do things outside of their relationship, Calvin rewrites the script to suit himself.

How does this turn out? Watch the film because whether it is fantasy or reality the point is clear about letting go.

Dano is very effective as a writer and as a troubled man searching to find himself. It was good to see Gould again and he’s good as the psychologist. Messina is good as the unbelieving and supportive brother. Kazan is outstanding as Ruby, both the writer’s fantasy and as a real person. Kazan wrote a wonderful and innovative screenplay. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris co-directed this with a great wit and mix of characters.

Overall: This was an enjoyable film and the entire audience seemed to like it.