I told myself no. I said I wouldn’t watch this film because nobody wants to see it with me. I can’t watch a movie alone considering the kind of mess I am today and how this will complicate things a tad. I was okay with missing out on it while everybody on the internet talks about how great this film was. Said I will just have to wait on its DVD release but then an old friend of mine wanted to see a movie with me and there I was thinking my life is a fucking bore.
Ruby Sparks is the story of Calvin (Dano), a young writer suffering from sophomore writer’s block and various general neuroses. On one of his therapy sessions, he talked about a dream he had about a lady he doesn’t know. His therapist suggested he write a one-page story about someone liking his dog, Scotty, just the way he is and that was how the concept of Ruby Sparks (Kazan) started. Calvin and his overzealousness to writing his story was stunned when Ruby, the lady character he wrote, became a real person, his real girlfriend, the love of his life.
Ruby Sparks was surprisingly deep. I knew its premise was somehow original and that a lot of people are championing this film as movie of the year because in all honesty, the film was great. I mean, I tend to lean on the other half of the population that thinks the ending was totally uncalled for but in general I love how they found the balance between romantic comedies and message-making.
I love the theme that in relationships, there is always good and bad and that you can’t have one without the other, that it’s about letting people just be, not putting them in boxes or burying them in expectations or shutting them out when it gets too hard.
I love that Calvin was so scared about being left alone again. We were briefly introduced to Lila, his five-year long girlfriend who left him shortly after his father died and that’s also the reason he detests her. He became obsessed with the idea of Ruby depending on him despite of his flaws and when Ruby showed signs that she might leave him, that’s when Calvin started changing her which was a dumb move but somehow accurate. When you have the power to control a person, to manipulate every little quirk or habit to fit your personality, you know you’re going to do it. Why change when you can modify your lover into being the perfect person in the whole universe?
I love that Calvin realized falling in love is an act of magic. That it’s not about who’s in control or who loves more or who gets the most freedom. That love is about being happy and content with whoever you’re with. It’s about having enough space to work on the relationship as couples. It’s about those stirring alterations in your life you have no control of.
I love that it was reiterated in the film that quirky, messy women, whose problems only make them endearing do not exist. I am so tired of seeing hot messes getting all the love when they don’t even know what to do with everything they’re receiving. You know, these people should fucking get their shit together first.
What I find challenging was that I see parts of myself in Calvin. Thank god I am not a writer with a magical typewriter or an incredible imagination because then, I’d be creating a perfect boyfriend and that would ruin all the fun (and me!). The first half of the movie was absolutely magnificent. The banter between Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano (who are a real life couple) was witty, creative, and real. The other half was a mix of emotional punches right in the apex of my heart along with very impressive realizations I guess to think about later. In the middle of the film, I wanted to stop everything and applause because goddamn the climax was so strong, well-written, well-acted, and it was proper in all the right ways. It was really, really good.
I feel that this film is something that you can discuss over coffee with your friends because most of us feel like Calvin or Ruby at times and the concept of second chances. I don’t believe in second chances but guess what, this movie kinda made me believe in it. Baby steps, amirite?
Ultimately, it was a very entertaining film and I recommend everyone to see it because it’s totally worth it. You’d be surprised by how this movie will affect you even in the tiniest way.