Major motion pictures from Hollywood mostly seem like formula films. There’s action, romantic comedy, “drama” and family fare, but somehow they all seem similar in their respective genres. But occasionally, a script comes along that is so interesting and atypical that some of the best actors in the business want to be in it, even though they realize they will be working for minimum salary and the film will not be a blockbuster. “Ruby Sparks” is one of those motion pictures.
Paul Dano stars as a young writer on the west coast. He had a major work of fiction that was a best seller. but that was 10 years ago and now the reclusive young man has writer’s block and has become a loner. His therapist, played by Elliott Gould, is trying to draw him out, but so far the only success he has had is in a relationship is with his dog Scottie.
Dano’s character meets a very cute and eccentric girl in the park one day, begins to write about her and then discovers that she has mysteriously shown up in his apartment and is living with him. He doesn’t understand how or why. Even stranger is when he learns that by writing and describing her, he can make her into the person he is writing about. He can control her personality, temperament and almost everything else about her. It’s kind of like being able to know the future, which, of course, can be a very unhealthy “gift.”
Zoe Kazan, granddaughter of Elia Kazan, appears as Zoe. In real life, she and Dano live together and have one child.
Annette Bening plays Dano’s mother and Antonio Banderas plays his step-father. Chris Messina is Harry, Dano’s character’s brother and confidant.
“Ruby Sparks” is both funny and serious, affecting and climatic. It is one of the most unusual story you’ve seen and it’s one of those films that you’ll want to discuss after seeing it.
Ruby is that kind of girl.