Ruby Sparks [2012]

Ruby SparksBiting my truant pen, beating myself for spite. ‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, ‘look in thy heart, and write.’ Philip Sidney.


Film #064 of 2013

Ruby SparksDirector: Jonathan Dayton  Cast: Paul Dano [Calvin], Zoe Kazan [Ruby] & Chris Messina [Harry]

Plot: A novelist struggling with writer’s block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence. Source


Hipster Review: Calvin [Paul Dano] magically authors his true love into being and struggles to mold her into what he interprets as his version of a perfect partner…Jonathan Dayton’s Ruby Sparks is passionate, hurtful and disturbing – it’s the frivolousness of Annie Hall meshed with a whimsical Weird Science. Re-watched March 10th, 2013.

Ruby Sparks


“Just don’t tell me how it ends, okay?Ruby



  • The Dr. Rosenthal sessions
  • An overactive imagination turns into every mans fantasy
  • Writer’s block, magic, roller skates, swimming in your clothes, nightclubs and art teachers
  • Calvin’s groovy apartment and Ruby’s ability to speak French fluently
  • He knows nothing of woman and he does a piss poor job trying to control one

Biggest Surprise: How a rom-com could get so dark and cruel, I loved the twist.

Biggest Let Down: Thankfully it course corrects itself when it gets too close to that fine line of being silly.

Does the guy get the hot girl in the end? It all depends on whether or not he writes that into his story.

Worth a Blu-ray purchase? For sure, it’s inspiration that cures any writer’s block.

Similar to: Annie Hall [1977], Adaptation [2002].

What Tweeters are saying:

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time my imaginary friends, Chris

Posted on March 14, 2013, in 2012, Movies watched in 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. I hate myself for not seeing this already. I even own it on Blu-ray and have for quite some time now. And now it’s packed… so I can’t wait it for a few weeks. THANKS CHRISSSSSS…..

  2. “It’s the frivolousness of Annie Hall meshed with a whimsical Weird Science.” You just reviewed one of my favorite movies perfectly. Thanks for that!!

    • Hey!!! Where have you been?
      I’m glad I did the film justice!! :)

      • Oh you did it justice. And yeah man, I’ve just taken a little break to refresh the writing hand…haha kept bumping into a brick wall everytime I tried writing somethin’. But you should check it, got a new format going and hopefully i’ll be able to expand it a bit more.

  3. moviemavericks

    I too was very surprised at how dark this movie got, but in a good way. Great review, I like your short but sweet format.

  4. Good review! :-) Really want to see this.

  5. Really enjoyed this, a big surprise! I loved how dark it went but I wasn’t impressed with the ending, thought it was a bit silly. Nice review mate.

  6. I loved this movie and as we are all writers being bloggers it’s a nice fantasy to have a power like that. Happy to read you also enjoyed it.

    • For sure, it’s really fun to imagine having a power like that, I’m sure every person has dreamt of something like it at some point.

      I really enjoyed because it reminded me of something that Woody Allen would have come up with.

  7. Good to see you rate this so highly Chris. It’s a fabulous film. I lord how it wasn’t scared to get it’s hands dirty when it was required. This was one of the biggest surprises of year for me.

    • It was a surprise Mark, I was expecting a fun rom-com but the story turned pretty dramatic during the climax. This was my second viewing and it was much better than the first.

  8. I’ve neither seen nor herd of this one- it sounds great though! Nice write-up, I’m gonna watch it ASAP ! :)

  9. Good review! Glad you liked it too. Finally a very good rom-com!

  10. What’s neat too is that in a way its a reverse of life imitating art. Zoe Kazan wrote it and she and Dana are a real life couple. It worked for me. Nice reminder of it.

  11. I was interested in this but I kept pushing it back. It’s mainly because of
    Paul Dano. I swear he’s one annoying actor to me! lol

    • Yeah I’ve spoken to a few people that can’t stand him. He’s his usual self in this so it may be one you might want to pass on Keith. Too bad though, it’s a REALLY good film.

  12. So this is a sequel to Meet Wally Sparks?

    • It is not, Rodney Dangerfield was illiterate so could not have writer’s block.

      “I was such an ugly baby. My mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.”

  13. Nice review – but got to say that this film didn’t quite do it for me. I love the premise… the acting is spot on and the first half of the movie sets it up beautifully… in fact, it has all the elements that mean it should succeed but I just didn’t end up believing the relationships or the characters (and yes, I know that one of them fictional!).

  14. Another one I doubt I’ll ever catch – something about Dano really bothers me – I think it’s because I hated There Will Be Blood. I am actually a fan of Chris Messina but not so much that I think I’ll check this out. But, who knows. I was wrong about The Green Mile too : )

  15. I look forward to seeing this.
    That Paul Dano seems to be quite an actor. I think he was great in Little Miss Sunshine, and There Will Be Blood.

  16. Cures any writer’s block, huh? Might this be my new favourite film? Definitely seeing this ASAP. Thank you for reviewing things so well, Chris, it’s magnificent.

  17. The woman I would craft via my novel would be exactly the same as my wife.

    just in case she reads this ;-)

  18. Nice rveiew. I loved this film. Zoe Kazan is such a great talent, both as a writer and actress. Paul Dano and Chris Messina were very fun. Fantastic follow-up to Little Miss Sunshine for Dayton and Faris.

  19. Glad to see such a high rating! I was fortunate to see a screening w/ the filmmaker and cast (Kazan and Dano in attendance also) and was blown away. Amazing that this is Zoe’s debut screenplay. Dano was a revelation as an author, the way he conveyed having writer’s block is just superb. I asked him during Q&A if he had to do extensive research to get into the head of a real author and he said no, he just pictured himself as one and how he found similarities with his profession as an actor. He’s such an affable fellow, very humble. Btw, he also said Zoe and him were dating, which I thought was very sweet!

    • I am officially jealous! What a great experience. It seemed like their was some type of special bond amongst the cast, kind of like a family. Now I know the truth. Thanks so much for sharing that Ruth, that’s amazing.

  20. Great review! I love your format, short but informative. I knew as soon as I finished this film that it would be one of my favorites. Not very often a whimsical romance story gets so dark like this one. I think it’s time for a re-watch.

  21. Great write-up – one of my favorites from last year! I adored how multifaceted Kazan’s script was in addressing the pitfalls of both writer’s block and the importance, moreover permanence of free will in modern relationships. The tonal shifts were welcome and not too jarring, and thoroughly likable leads did wonders for their respective fleshed out characters. A much-needed departure from films of its type.

    • Beautifully said man….I could not have said it any better. Free will is the key to the story really, at first it’s a fun little game but by the end it’s a cruel test of one’s power to control.

      Fantastic, UNDER-RATED film that deserves far more attention.

  22. It might be more my dislike of Paul Dano, but I couldn’t get behind this one. I did like Zoe Kazan’s performance though.

  1. Pingback: Ruby Sparks (2012) | films and coke

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