Ruby Sparks (15, 104 mins) Comedy/Drama/Romance Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris Released: Friday October 12
Art imitates life imitates art in this delightfully offbeat romantic comedy, which ponders if the man or woman of your dreams is exactly that: a fantastical creation.
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who collected a mantelpiece of awards for Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks stars real-life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan as lovebirds magically brought together by unseen forces.
Written by lead actress Kazan, the pair catalyse smouldering screen chemistry, surrounded by a strong ensemble cast including Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening as hippie parents, whose carefree attitude to life and love provides a template of perfection that other characters struggle to emulate.
Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) wrote his first novel at the age of 19. The book was embraced by critics as a modern masterpiece and he has coasted along on the adulation, unable to find the words for a follow-up, or a girl who loves him and not his celebrity.
To cure his writer’s block, Calvin churns out volumes about a mystery girl haunting his dreams.
Miraculously, Ruby (Zoe Kazan) manifests in Calvin’s apartment.
She is blissfully unaware that she was once a figment of Calvin’s feverish imagination and romantic bonds strengthen between the couple.
Dano is endearing as the introverted scribe crippled by success, and Kazan is luminous, staring wide-eyed into the camera with an irresistible twinkle in her eye.
Towards the end of the film, Ruby speaks for us all when she smiles at Calvin and coos, “Just don’t tell me how it ends, OK?”
OK, we won’t.
n Swearing, No Sex, Violence n Rating: 8/10