Commentary
12:23 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Movie Review: Ruby Sparks

Ruby Sparks is a happy surprise for at least three reasons: heroine Zoe Kazan is a fun new actress who also wrote the script, it is an enjoyable love story, and it is a pleasant comic variation on Frankenstein; unless one is very sensitive to bad language, I can’t see why anyone would not like it.

Zoe Kazan, who not only stars in Ruby Sparks but wrote it and, with co-star Paul Dano, an interesting new upcomer himself, co-produced it, is not a standard beauty, but in irresistibly attractive for an elfin charm and a highly expressive face; there’s an innocence about her like what she is, a creature newborn at an age somewhere in the middle twenties or so, only a little bit aware that she may be no more than a creation of Dano’s brain – he’s periodically sure that’s all she is, but there’s a solid reality to her and he can’t entirely control her – as a number of writers like Dano have testified that their literary creations have minds of their own and frequently take off in directions their creators did not intend. And thereby hangs a tale that is at once fantasy and psychologically very real, if never very serious. And the directors are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Paris of Little Miss Sunshine, even better than they were then because they don’t tumble off tone at the end. Everybody seems to have been in top form making Ruby Sparks.

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They especially knew better than to explain the more fantastic aspects of the situation. Dano certainly ought to know whether Kazan is real or not, but he clearly thinks she’s his imaginary creation; at least he thinks so when it suits his purposes. I think, but can’t prove, that Kazan suspects he may be more right than she wants him to be, and resents it.

The rest, I leave up to you.