Just like old days, I was able to splurge into my indie-film fandom the other night with my hipster older-brother watching quirky, character-driven indie tales of love. I bought him two DVDs for Christmas, one being Ruby Sparks. After watching it, it is, in my opinion, one of those refreshingly new takes in indie-film cinema that both gives a quirky, “magical” delight and unexpected emotional punch. Screenwriter Zoe Kazan, who plays “ideal woman” Ruby Sparks in the film, writes such a neatly-packaged tale of the common problem of people in relationships always trying to remake or recreate or “make perfect” their significant other. It had some scary moments but it had some utterly funny moments at the same time… It’s quirky just as the lead two actors, but just as dense and observant as they are in real life.
The chemistry between the two leads was nothing uncomfortable, as they are a real-life couple, and the eyes behind the lens belong to a co-directing real-life couple as well. I’m sure this helped elevate and balance the storyline to grab both a male and female’s perspective in views to relationships.
I absolutely loved the ideas Zoe put into the script… Her observance about relationships shows in the film, which probably makes this one of those few indie-films to get handfuls of positive responses. Although her character is the stock “manic pixie dream girl”, she still brings a sweetness and vulnerability to it–as scary as it may be to see–as Paul Dano’s character of Calvin has the ability to control how his fantasy-woman is. He makes his own dreams become reality. (Only to turn for a whirlwind of a ride, which you can expect further…) But, no worries, this isn’t a male-driven film–it also points some blame to males for wanting to “perfect” a girl. That’s something that’s always bothered me–falling in love with some idea of some girl and wanting the “perfect” one, when love is love and it happens when it happens, regardless of any one’s ideal.
Still, nothing beats (500) Days of Summer for me just yet in modern indie-films! This still was a fun watch.