Anyone who has had their first brush with adolescence has fantasized about the perfect partner; the one who completes the puzzle, the conundrum that is “you”; conforms to your ideal; meets and exceeds all your expectations; plainly put, the “love of your life.”
“Ruby Sparks” is one of the most compelling, enchanting films of the summer. Created by, and starring Zoe Kazan (“Ruby”), a gifted young woman with an enviable imagination, celestial blue eyes. Ruby’s ethereal, luminescent, stunning as the sprite who morphs from the pages of novelist “Calvin” (Paul Dano); a prodigy, who has been wandering in a desert of “wordless” uncertainty. Dano’s performance is galvanizing and vulnerable, simultaneously.
I was ambushed emotionally, psychologically, intellectually from the first scene; a lonely, uninspired “genius”, Calvin searches for answers on the couch of physiatrist, Dr. Rosenthal , (a small, Freudian role by a wonderfully ageing Elliott Gould); he gives Calvin an assignment and “Ruby” bursts forth, his “Venus”, slaughtering writers- block, solitude; loving without boundaries, restrictions. Calvin, a contemporary Pygmalion, with language, sculpts his muse; her lineage, her moods, accomplishments, all that she is, at his creative whim.
“Ruby Sparks” speaks in a myriad of tongues; the simplistic turns complex; enchantment births disenchantment; the adage “be careful what you wish for, …” becomes imperturbable, deleterious.
“Ruby Sparks” is an eloquent, romantic comedy with exhilarating depth; scrutinizing the pathos, turbulence of relationships. How often have we said “if only” he/she were: taller, thinner, brighter, did not snore, smoke, leave hair in the sink, the lights on, interrupt, clean up, etc. If only he/she liked opera/baseball, Indian/French cuisine, fiction/nonfiction; instead of questioning what’s missing, discover, unearth what’s there.
“Ruby Sparks” elucidates while entertaining, a dynamic duo; a film that surreptitiously enables the viewer to ponder, examine their relationships, exiting, asking not “what you can do for me, but what can I do for you?”
“Ruby Sparks” is about freedom, acceptance; serving a tale of love as refreshing as the quietest breeze on a sweltering summer day!