Saturday, August 4, 2012

Don't Tell Me How It Ends

Ruby Sparks is a cute little film directed by the same folks who gave us Little Ms. Sunshine.  Paul Dano plays hapless novelist Calvin who, at the tender age of nineteen, wrote a bestselling novel.  When the film opens ten years later, Calvin is suffering from an acute case of writer's block.  After a talk with his therapist, Calvin is inspired to write after dreaming of a girl--Ruby Sparks.  Complications ensue when Ruby hops from the pages of Calvin's new novel and shows up in real life.  Calvin can seemingly make Ruby do anything he wants by typing a few words on a page.  While totally unbelievable, it's still fun to watch Calvin fall in love.  The realism comes in when Calvin's idealistic expectations about their relationship and how Ruby should act clash with a flesh and blood woman.  Ruby is played wonderfully by Zoe Kazan who also wrote the script.  I was happy to see Antonio Banderas make an appearance as Calvin's step-father.  Banderas is aging so incredibly well.  Annette Benning takes a turn as Calvin's preppy turned hippie mother.  The only thing I didn't like, and it's a very small thing, was the casting of Chris Messina as Calvin's older brother Harry.  While Messina played the role well, he and Dano look NOTHING alike.  I don't know why that bothered me, but it did.  While not as entertaining or feel-good as Little Miss Sunshine, the movie is a pleasant distraction. 

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