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Ruby Sparks - Film Review

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Published October 5th 2012
I like to believe that the world is made up of words and stories, and it was very interesting (and very nice) to see this sentiment expressed rather literally in Ruby Sparks.

Born as an idea and grown into an ideal, Ruby is the perfect partner for Calvin, the young writer who dreams her into existence. After the huge success of his debut novel 10 years prior, Calvin suffers through a case of writer's block punctuated by visits to his therapist, brotherly love at the gym and interviewers loudly applauding his genius while speculating when his next great literary work will be. As a way to end his malaise, Calvin's therapist sets him a short writing exercise, resulting in the birth of Ruby Sparks. Enamoured, Calvin continues to shape and define Ruby's identity even as he fearfully suspects himself to be falling in love with her intangible character – until he finds Ruby in his house, cheerfully munching her way through breakfast. Convinced of the reality of his new lover, Calvin tumbles into struggles of control, free will, and facing up to the difference between ideas and reality.

There is a lot (a lot) I would like to say about this movie; but I don't have the space and I doubt that you have the time. When it comes to exploring themes and conveying messages, Ruby Sparks does a beautiful job – it manages to look at serious questions in a thoughtful, curious manner that doesn't require much suspension of disbelief. This lets you further immerse yourself in the story, which, although darker than expected (which is not a bad thing), manages to retain a graceful feel-good vibe. I was also happy to note that as cute and quirky as Calvin and Ruby are, Ruby's character avoids being a manic pixie dream girl, and Calvin's eccentricities have been constructed and portrayed in a way that adds realism to his character, rather than seeming superficial. The movie is largely character driven as opposed to being focused on plot, calling for strong characterisation, which is definitely delivered.

This movie has also been beautifully designed – the colours, costumes and lighting all work to make a dreamy, slightly isolated atmosphere which adds to the story and the telling of it.

If you'd like to see a true and impossible story of a very great love, I recommend this one. I enjoyed it immensely the first time I watched it, and am very much looking forward to seeing it again soon.
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