DVD Review: "Ruby Sparks"

By Jamie Ruby

Ruby SparksRuby Sparks stars Paul Dano as Calvin Weir-Fields, a struggling novelist who after finding fame as a teenager, now has writers' block. To kickstart his creativity, his therapist (Elliot Gould) tells him he should write about someone who would love his dog the way he is, timid and slobbery. So Calvin starts writing about a young woman, Ruby Sparks, and unwittingly ends up falling in love with her, which he thinks is a problem, because she's not real.

The more he writes, the more real she becomes, until her underthings start showing up and he sees her in his apartment. He freaks out, assuming he's had some kind of mental breakdown, but soon realizes that other people can see her too, and that he controls her with his writing.

The film is in much part about loving someone for who they are and accepting all their faults. Calvin learns that trying to change someone can have costs, as the more he controls her, the less she is the woman he fell in love with, and that love is often complicated, but that's what makes it real.

Ruby SparksI found the romantic comedy very enjoyable; it was sweet but also a lot of fun, with even a slightly dark twist at times. Ruby's personality is infectious, and Zoe Kazan, who wrote the screen play, plays the role perfectly. Kazan and Paul Dano, who also did a fantastic job as Calvin, are a couple offscreen, and their chemistry in the film is strong. I really bought the two fumbling in their relationship, and Calvin striving to make things work, even if not always going about it the right way.

With a great cast, which also includes Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas, and an enjoyable and really funny script, Ruby Sparks is well worth watching if you are are looking for a sweet, yet funny, romantic comedy.

This time I cannot comment on the actual packaging because I only received the disc. Either version, however, blu-ray or the regular DVD, contains just one disc.

Special Features
The Story - This special feature is of Kazan and Dano, as well as directors Johnathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, talking a bit about the plot of the film.

Real Life Couples - This feature is about the fact that both the main actors and the two directors are real life couples. Kazan and Dano talk about what Dayton and Faris are like to work for and about how well they work together. Albert Berger, the producer, also talks about the idea of exploring a story with a relationship that is directed by and stars couples. Chris Messina, who plays Calvin's brother, Harry, also talks about working with them.

Be Careful What You Wish For - In this one, the directors and actors talk about the script and about loving someone for who they are and not trying to change them - you can't just pick and choose parts, which is what Calvin learns in the film.

There is also a trailer and sneak peeks.

The special features were somewhat interesting, but did not really do much to enhance the film. The film itself though was enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

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