Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Writer: Zoe Kazan
Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Toni Trucks, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Aasif Mandvi, Steve Coogan, Deborah Ann Woll, Elliott Gould
Calvin (Paul Dano) wrote a critically acclaimed bestseller when he was very young – and has been stuck ever since. He can’t really write anything, he’s afraid that he won’t live up to his own reputation. But then he starts writing about Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan) – the perfect girl for him – and literally falls in love with his own creation. That is, until she actually shows up in his kitchen. At first, Calvin believes that he’s finally cracked, but other people can see her, too. And so Calvin doesn’t question it, instead starts enjoying their relationship. But how long can anybody remain perferct?
Ruby Sparks is the perfect take-down of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. And not only that, it is also a wonderfully charming, touching and funny movie with an extremely excellent cast.
I have to say I’m absolutely impressed by the whole film. I watched it for Paul Dano (because I will watch anything with him in it), but I was afraid that it would end up re-inforcing the MPDG trope, instead of dismanteling it. But I needn’t have worried. Because Zoe Kazan’s script is pretty damn amazing.
The only thing that is even better than the great script is the mind-blowing cast. I expected no less of Paul Dano, but also Zoe Kazan was fantastic – I really need to watch out for whatever she does next. And let’s not forget the amazing supporting cast: Chris Messina, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan etc etc – they were delightful.
But really, I can’t get over this script and how completely great it was. The (extremely ugly) scene where Calvin and Ruby fight was one of the most effective, touching and simply strongest scenes I have ever seen in a movie.
This movie could have gone wrong so easily – and it avoids the traps so gracefully that after having seen it, I practically berated myself for ever doubting that it would be great. Because it was.
Summarising: Watch it.