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Critic's pick: 'Ruby Sparks' is all kinds of sweet

August 22, 2012|By Betsy Sharkey
  • Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano star in "Ruby Sparks."
Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano star in "Ruby Sparks." (Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight )

If you're looking for something light and lovely to finish out the summer before worrisome and weighty films fill theaters this fall, catch"Ruby Sparks"before it floats out to sea.

Starring Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, it is a smarter-than-most romantic comedy that begins with writer's block.

Dano plays the writer, but Kazan actually wrote the movie. In the real world they're a couple, so it's all kind of sweet.

In the film, the block breaks when Calvin (Dano) starts to put the girl he's been dreaming about onto the page.

Suddenly Ruby (Kazan) comes to life, literally, and in short order his novel and his new romance are going swimmingly — until the real world threatens to mess with perfection, tempting Calvin to rewrite Ruby to suit his fancy.

Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris use just the right touch of magical realism to explore what happens when you get what you want, or what you think you want, in matters of the heart.

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