Hollywood has a formula for everything. From cop/legal/medical procedurals on broadcast TV to big budget summer movie blockbusters. When Hollywood breaks the mold sometimes they create something good, but it’s usually bad. They also tend to think highly of it themselves, and it shows in its pretentiousness (e.g. Sideways) and/or it is self-referential (e.g. Adaptation). Ruby Sparks toes the line of pretentious.
Calvin is a best-selling novelist with writers’ block. He is finally struck with inspiration in the form of a dream. He dreams of a woman named Ruby Sparks. She is perfect and Calvin is in love with the character, until one day she appears in his kitchen. Calvin has created the perfect woman for himself and whatever he writes, she becomes. Sounds perfect, but is she real? Is he going crazy?
Ruby Sparks explores a lot of areas. It starts innocently enough with an author’s relationship with their characters. George R.R. Martin either hates his characters or is afraid to love them so he kills them as quickly as he creates them. If you love your characters too much, you will find it hard to put them into peril (and there isn’t much of a story if there is no struggle).
Ruby Sparks then transitions into a slightly more serious matter, relationships in general. Relationships take work, even if you have literally the perfect woman, a woman so perfect you created her from your mind. From there the film takes a dark turn into abusive controlling relationships. What would happen if you could control your mate with a single stroke of the pen? If you could make them do whatever you want? It’s a little disturbing.
It is always good to see something new and something that makes you think. Ruby Sparks succeeds in that regard. It was well done, but it is a bit pretentious – not overtly so, but it is there. I also found the ending to be a bit of a cop-out, almost as if it had to revert back into formulism to satisfy someone (certainly not me). Ultimately, I would recommend Ruby Sparks, but I suspect that people will either love it or hate it.
WWYT Rating: 6.9
IMDB Rating: 7.2