By Kyra Smith-Cullen
November 29, 2012
Most writers will tell you that, at one point in a story, it seems that the characters come alive. In “Ruby Sparks,” audiences get a chance to explore the literal downside of this with the help of terrific acting.
“Ruby Sparks” is about writer, Calvin, who, after gaining success at a young age, is struggling to create his next story. When a character emerges from his dreams, Calvin has to deal with his feelings towards a fictional woman.
The character development was astonishing to watch, largely aided by the talents of stars Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. When the story begins, Calvin is a social recluse whose only friends are his brother and his psychiatrist. As he becomes more involved with Ruby, the audience gets to watch him grow. Likewise, Ruby grows from simply being a one dimensional creation to being a well-rounded individual. Dano and Kazan were perfect for their roles, embodying the awkward and quirky characters as if they were destined to do so. Their acting makes the story 10 times more appealing.
There are parts of the film that are slow and make it difficult to stay interested, but the actors’ talent never wavers. It is especially dull in the beginning, but it picked up tremendously as it went further. Once it got into full swing it was hard to tear myself away. The climax in particular was particularly well crafted – in an instant; it switched from a loving romance to Calvin having an obsessive need to control his character. The scene sent shivers down my spine.
In any movie, the costumes should be able to tell you something about their wearers and it was no different in “Ruby Sparks.” Calvin’s anti-social look was emphasized by his tendency to wear layers, indicating that he was only presenting one facet of his life to the public. As the movie continued, there were subtle changes that clued people into character development. For instance, as he tries to be more assertive, his shirts were buttoned at the highest button. Ruby’s distinct and quirky personality was shown in bright colors and playful outfits.
To sum it up, “Ruby Sparks” has faults that stem from poor plot work. Despite this, it manages to make its mark as a romantic tale that shows the downside of having utter control over somebody. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good movie.