Monday, July 30, 2012

Ruby Sparks [2012]

MPAA (R)  Roger Ebert (3 Stars)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
Roger Ebert's review

Ruby Sparks (directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, screenplay by Zoe Kazan) is an appropriately R-rated (not for any nudity but for theme) young adult oriented romance about struggling writer Calvin Weir-Fields (played by Paul Dano) trying to make lightning strike twice: he had an enormously successful first novel some ten years previous but hasn't been able to produce anything of consequence since (shades of one of my all time favorite films Wonder Boys [2000]).  Worse, he's retired to an existence that doesn't extend much beyond his type-writer, visits to his shrink Dr. Rosenthal (played by Eliott Gould) and meeting up with his brother Harry (played by Chris Messina) who is concerned but still loves/hasn't given up on him.  To get himself out of the house more (and in hopes of meeting more people, especially potential girlfriends) Calvin had gotten a dog.  However, the dog, though a cute terrier, ends up being about as shy as he is.

Anyway, Calvin starts dreaming of a young attractive woman who he'd never met.  Taking this as an inspiration, he starts writing about her.  Then suddenly, one day, there she is, Ruby (played by the film's author Zoe Kazan) materialized in his home.

How could this be?  He doesn't understand.  Neither does his brother.  Yet after becoming convinced that she's really there in Calvin's house they accept her and present her to others as Calvin's girlfriend.  And as Calvin's creation that's what she certainly is ... initially.

The rest of the movie becomes a very nice reflection on relationships, what one wants of them, and what one really wants for one's loved ones.   It's one of those "romantic comedies" that at times is not particularly funny.  But it is a very nice story.

Indeed, as I write this there could be even a very nice THEOLOGICAL DIMENSION to this story.  After all, Calvin was Ruby's "Creator."  But ultimately, what does Calvin want for his Creation?  It's just a lovely, lovely story!

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