Ruby Sparks

Plagiarism? Maybe not intentionally, but as I watched my DVD from the library, I could almost match the plot point by point during the early scenes. It is entirely possible that screenwriter Zoe Kazan thought she was inspired by a dream or something, but in September 2006, I saw "The Love List," a delightful play by Canadian Norm Foster, which it unmistakably echoes. In fact, I could giggle in anticipation of bits of dialogue and certain twists and turns in the plot as I watched the DVD.

That being said: this charming (there is good reason why this story deserves to be revisited) comedy/fantasy/romance is well acted and nicely photographed. It is thought provoking (what would you get if you could create the lover of your dreams?), funny (be careful what you wish for) and satisfying (happy endings, anyone?).

We see:
  • Paul Dano ("There Will Be Blood") as Calvin, a writer who is single, lonely and very creative.
  • Zoe Kazan ("It's Complicated") as Ruby, the girl of his dreams ...literally!
  • Chris Messina ("Argo") is Calvin's skeptical brother Harry, who, like the sidekick in the play, would rather see more "physical" attributes than intellectual ones for his brother's dream girl.
  • Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") is the boys' Earth Mother, anxious to see BOTH sons settled down and happy.
  • Antonio Banderas ("Haywire'') is Mom's lusty new husband. He makes stuff.
  • Steve Coogan ("Our Idiot Brother") is our hero's publisher. This actor always plays the same person...
  • Elliott Gould (the "Ocean's" franchise) is unrecognizable as our hero's therapist; I was surprised to see his name.
The quality of the acting is always notable when Paul Dano is involved and I was impressed by the multi-talented Zoe Kazan (writer AND actress) who is also Dano's significant other in real life. Another real-life couple, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris ("Little Miss Sunshine") are the directors. This diverting little R-rated frolic will keep you occupied for 104 minutes. ...smile...
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Take a peek at a preview:
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