Review: Ruby Sparks

31 October 2012

Ruby Sparks begins with the clichés: a lucid dream, an empty apartment and a has-been author battling writer’s block. Yet when it becomes apparent that the homebound, sex-deprived author’s prose has real-life implications, the Will Ferrell alarm bells go into overdrive. Is Ruby Sparksthe reincarnation of 2006’s innovative comedy Stranger than Fiction?

 The similarities between the two films are palpable. Though if one accusesRuby Sparks of plagiarism, they must also acknowledge the unique creative direction in which the film travels. For a comedy that’s unafraid to distance itself from reality, Ruby Sparks is remarkably profound.

Our hero is Calvin (Paul Dano), whose life as a single writer with a pop-culture-infused knowledge of women hits close to home. Unlike your archetypal protagonist, Calvin is neither handsome, nor charming. But he’s human.

Titular character Ruby (Zoe Kazan), however, is not. For the best part of the film, she’s absolute perfection, encapsulating every man’s dream woman. The catch is, of course, that she’s not real. She’s literally a character from Calvin’s latest book that one day shows up in Calvin’s apartment.

As you might expect, what follows delivers many laughs. More significantly though, Ruby Sparks reveals much about relationships, exposing the unrealistic standards of men and women alike.

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