One would think that dreaming up a mate would be a lot simpler than finding a real one. Calvin finds the opposite to be true in this sometimes, black comedy-fantasy.
This 2012 film called Ruby Sparks is about a novelist with writer's block. He has coasted on the success of a book he wrote when he was nineteen but ten years later, inspiration continues to elude him. His psychiatrist suggests that Calvin write about the woman he has been dreaming about nightly. As he begins, this woman of his dreams, shows up, suddenly living in his apartment. The more he writes about her, the more he thinks that he is in control of the situation. But poor Calvin wanted a "real" woman and that's where his good times and unexpectedly, his problems start.
A real woman, with real emotions, seems to be more than the novelist can handle. At first, his easy solution is to, "do a rewrite." As he soon finds, life is never that simple.
As crazy as this all sounds, the main characters, Zoe Kazan (Ruby) and Paul Dano (Calvin), do an excellent job in convincing the audience that there is more than one way to find love. Even if one of the partner's is imaginary. Or is she?
****** Spoiler Alert. Do not read below unless you've seen the movie ********
On the surface, this quirky film seems to be about a guy who creates and attempts to control a girl through some magic from an alternate reality. Not so. Notice that Calvin is using an old-fashion typewriter throughout his antics with Ruby. It is not until he begins to write the book The Girlfriend, that he is suddenly using a laptop as most writer's would. His choice of writing instrument is important because it gives us a clue to the truth. From the very beginning of the film, to point just before Calvin is reading his new novel at the book signing, we have been "watching" his book The Girlfriend. The seemingly impossible magic that the viewer witnesses, is actually the creative writing of the author, Calvin,
The overall theme remains. Calvin has a lot of issues dealing with people in general and woman he'd like to be close to specifically. The writing of the book acts as a kind of a catharsis which assists him in understanding more about himself. Whether this "book therapy" helps him to more effectively relate to the new person he meets at the end of the film remains to be seem.
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As impressed as I was with this film, I was delighted to find out that Zoe Kazan herself wrote the screenplay. Another fact is that the two lead characters have been dating each other since 2007.
Some credit must also be given to Anette Bening, Antonio Banderes, Eliott Gould and Chris Messina for adding texture to this film but well deserved applause goes to Ms. Kazan and Mr. Dano who superbly makes us believe that wherever the heart goes, there will always be magic. I can easily give this movie five out of five stars.