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Ruby Sparks

237 customer reviews

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(Oct 30, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Calvin is a young novelist struggling with his writing - as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Zoe Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person.

A romantic comedy about love and control from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks is an appealingly wacky story about novelist Calvin (Paul Dano) and his relationship with a fictitious woman. Struggling with writer's block and grieving over a failed actual relationship, Calvin looks to his brother (Chris Messina) and therapist (Elliott Gould) for guidance, but initially he finds only distraction and frustration. The therapist suggests an assignment that soon has Calvin writing about Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), a fictitious woman who loves him completely and unconditionally. The only problem is that Calvin is becoming obsessed with his new character, imagining that he's actually spending every waking moment with this ideal woman he's created--surely a sign that he's losing his mind. When Calvin discovers that other people can see Ruby too, he throws himself wholeheartedly into the perfect relationship with the perfect woman. Then he starts to feel guilty about possessing absolute control over Ruby's thoughts and actions and begins to question whether Ruby really loves him or whether he is making her love him. Calvin locks away his manuscript and stops writing, and things begin to change between the couple. Eventually Calvin must decide whether he can be content the way things are or whether he must set his creation free--even if it costs him his own happiness. Ruby Sparks is a romantic comedy full of laughably ridiculous situations, but it's also a thought-provoking film about control and acceptance. --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan
  • Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008220BA2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,093 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ruby Sparks" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2012
Format: DVD
In "Ruby Sparks" (104 min.), Calvin (played by Paul Dano) plays a writer who found great acclaim as a late teenager but now 10 years later is lonely and struggling with writer's block. In his dreams he meets the perfect girl whom he calls Ruby (played by Zoe Kazan), he starts writing about it, and then one morning Calvim wakes up only to find Ruby in his kitchen, fixing breakfast. It's a miracle, right? Is it the magic in the typewriter (Calvin types "Ruby speaks French" and a moment later she speaks French)? No explanation is given. However now that Ruby is alive and well, she does not always act EXACTLY like Calvin wants her to, and the temptation to run to the typewriter and fix every signle problem is great, but what would that do to their relationship in the long run? To give away more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: the movie is intended as a romcom, and there are indeed many fine moments that made me smile. But the movie also examines some profounder issues that go to the very nature of the human race: free will (with the potential for making mistakes or worse) or no free will (at which point, what is the real value of the relationship you control?). Even though she's been in many other movies in her young career, in my opinion Zoe Kazan is THE break-out star of the movie, as not only did she write the movie's screenplay but her performance on the screen just oozes charm. Not that he doesn't do a good job, but I can't really say the same about Paul Dano (Kazan and Dano are also a couple in real life). And there are some real choice moments for Antonio Banderas and Annette Benning as Calvin's parents. Check out also Elliott Gould as Calvin's shrink.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on August 3, 2012
Format: DVD
Speaking as somebody who writes short stories as a hobby in addition to film reviews; "Ruby Sparks" is pretty spectacular. Just the idea of one of your stories becoming a reality is basically every author's dream. Unless you're a horror writer, then you might hope it never leaves the page. Thinking about that somehow happening is inspiring in itself though. If that was a guideline, to only write stories you think deserve to exist in the real world, then we'd have a very different literary back catalog.

Paul Dano brings yet another extremely relatable character to the screen. His ongoing struggle to come up with a good story really hits home hard as does his issues with women. Falling in love with your own creation seems a lot more reasonable than attempting to swim in the dating world. Dano's performance is gut-wrenching at times because you know where at least part of this story is going and it's not going to end well; an emotional breakdown is inevitable. Dano is also just as engrossing as ever while making simple emotions of depression, inspiration, love, and heartache seem like a grand spectacle.

Zoe Kazan is really superb, as well. Attempting to be the embodiment of somebody's dream girl probably isn't the easiest job, but Kazan seems to do it with ease. Her performance is at its best when Calvin realizes that whatever he writes about Ruby on his typewriter comes to life. Those moments are when the humor of the film is at its peak and when the sadder moments punch you in your chest a little bit harder. It probably helps that Dano and Kazan are a couple off-screen, but their chemistry and an incredibly well-written screenplay are what make the film as strong as it is.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patsye on August 13, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally, a Pygmalion tale told from a female perspective. The guys appear to rule for awhile, but by the film's end the feminine and the male appreciation it has held the day and Ruby is so indispensable that Serendipity decides to give her another shot at the poor guy.
Years from now I predict that this film will join the long line of memorable romantic films. Have seen it five times in a month and have yet to tire of it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Gorton on September 5, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film that asks you to relinquish a few of your beliefs for a while and also to suspend logic and reality for almost two hours. But it is well worth it.Besides,logic and reality are way too overrated.
"Ruby Sparks" is a delightful journey into the mind of a young man who is stricken not only with writer's block,but a broken heart as well. Paul Dano gives a beautifully understated performance and Zoe Kazan is simply remarkable and joyous as the enigmatic Ruby. Ms. Kazan also wrote the script for this highly unusual romantic comedy.
The chemistry between this young man and the woman who suddenly enters his life,Ruby,is amazing. Not just the characters, but the actors portraying them.
This is one of those rare films where telling even a small amount of the plot will serve as a spoiler. Just go out and rent it or buy it and ENJOY!.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jill Clardy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 6, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Nerdy, lonely Calvin is considered a genius writer, though he has struggled to produce much since his breakout novel in his teens nearly 10 years ago. He lives in a large sparsely decorated all-white house, and has no friends other than his brother who urges him to get out more. He writes on his old manual typewriter, but is totally blocked until he starts to dream about a girl who inhabits his nights and gives him something to write about. One day, he discovers that she is real and is living with him. He has created the perfect girl, Ruby Sparks, out of his own mind and can't believe his luck. He soon discovers that whatever he writes determines her actions, and it is a heady power that he is afraid to wield, so he puts the book away and vies to write no more about her.

When their relationship starts to fray a bit, he is gives into the temptation to unlock the book and write a different scene for Ruby. His power to manipulate her and meld her into what he wants her to be is disturbing, and leads to the explosive, climactic scene in the movie, which I won't spoil.

Zoe Kazan, as Ruby, is delightful and quirky, fun-loving and cute. It is difficult to imagine an actress who could have played this part better. Calvin is serious and emotive, but somewhat annoying. The premise of being able to mold and alter someone else's personality to suit your own whim is interesting and daunting and certainly thought provoking. Though the movie was described as "rom com", that seems a shallow categorization. There is some comedy, and there is romance, but it is more of an intellectual drama than the romcom genre conveys.
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