Ruby Sparks (2012)

Ruby Sparks (poster)
Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Farris

To many, films that have been labeled as dramatic comedies might sound as a solid oxymoron in the ears. However, when talking about Ruby Sparks, one is indirectly considering a much darker edge to a more comical tone. In fact, this is no comedy at all, but merely a hypothetical sketch of one terrifying thought come to life. It could have been anyone’s idea, really.

The film develops a simple and solid idea. A struggling writer (Paul Dano) finds inspiration and romance by creating a female character called Ruby (Zoe Kazan). Imagine his surprise or his utter madness when he discovers that his fictional character is alive and does anything he asks of her.

Power is desired by many, but it can also create fear since it comes with great responsibility. Ruby Sparks envisioned an interesting plot where fun and clever has been combined with sad and morose scenery. The film manages to capture the fears and joys of having great power in a rather peculiar way.

Although many have mentioned that the film does not explore entirely original topics (drawing parallels to 500 Days of Summer), it stays a compelling picture for anyone who wishes to see an intellectual side to what would appear to be a silly comedy — or would you call it just another indie film?

The film most certainly puts different elements from various genres up for display. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two lead actors, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, but what really got me watching this film in the first place was the endearing thought of a fictional character come to life.

The first half of the story keeps up a more comical tone while the ending is a crushing heart break. The heightened drama had me convinced that there would eventually be a moment in the story when things would fall back to their places, but I was wrong. As much as the film tries to be all intellectual and even philosophical, the directors needed to take the risk of continuing with developing the storyline to a darker tone. And hence my dislike for how it all ended. Without revealing too much, the film goes silent on an expected turn of events instead of a truly bittersweet ending that’d fit perfectly with the overall style of the whole.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t do this film any justice if I don’t mention how much I really enjoyed watching it. Even though it had its weaknesses, it was an intriguing hypothetical realisation that you definitely should not miss — especially if you enjoy watching a new twist to Pygmalion’s legendary tale.

C

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21 thoughts on “Ruby Sparks (2012)

  1. I had a very similar reaction to this movie. It was a neat idea, they took it in an interesting direction but, in the end, I felt like things got a little too dark for me to enjoy it on a second viewing.

    • Exactly! That’s why I had the feeling that the film lacked developing its solid premise. Instead, it just explored an extremely wide range of various topics (including the dark undertone).

  2. I LOVED the way this ended. Funny how that happens. For me the whole story was a metaphor for what happens in relationships after you start to realise that the person you’ve fallen in love with is human and not a perfect being written into life just for you. I loved that it went dark and explored just how stifling and terrifying being controlled by a partner can be

    • Thanks for stopping by Abbi. That’s a really good metaphor you’ve come up with.. My initial explanation of the film was something similar, but then I couldn’t help myself but to dismiss this idea because the story goes in a lot of directions and thereby creates a lot of possible interpretations. About the ending: it was a lovely scene which gave the story yet another meaning. In general, I liked how the movie had an important message within a goofy storyline.

  3. I’m going to have to check this movie out. I know I liked 500 Days of Summer to a point, then found it heartbreaking for everyone involved. If this movie hearkens to the former, I think I better pop it in on a Sunday night before starting the week again in order to really explore the full meaning of the plot. Sunday night is drama night here at our house!

    • You should definitely watch it on a Sunday night, preferably when it’s raining. The film contains a record amount of dark metaphors for its genre.

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