Thursday, August 9, 2012
"Ruby Sparks" - Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (2012)
The dissolution of the reality barrier has been explored before in films like "Stranger than Fiction" and Woody Allen's "Purple Rose of Cairo."
But never has the line between art and life been explored so thoroughly as it is in "Ruby Sparks."
Calvin is a writer suffering from writer's block until he finds himself romantically drawn to one of his characters.
When he finally returns to his typewriter, he does so with such fervor he brings his ideal woman to life.
Calvin acknowledges his love for Ruby even before she manifests herself.
He has written her exactly to his liking, having her say things like "The first time I saw you, I said, 'Look at that boy. I'm going to love him forever and ever.'"
Of course nothing good ever lasts and trouble starts when Ruby starts showing she has a will of her own.
Calvin can keep writing to change her for convenience's sake, but no matter how often he tweaks Ruby, she never fits his idea of perfect because how good can the product of a neurotic mind be?
At one point in the third act, we're horrified at the controlling monster Calvin has become.
The point of the film is that no abstract ideal can ever be a match for a real, autonomous human being.
Make no mistake, "Ruby Sparks" is not a romantic comedy.
It is, however, insightful, endearing, forgiving and easily one of the best films of 2012.
And as a side note, "Ruby Sparks" gets points for having the couple attend a screening of Peter Jackson's zombie film "Dead Alive" and including Plastic Bertrand's "C'est Plane Pour Moi" on the soundtrack.