We have all heard the phrase, “Love is an act of magic,” – but this rings especially true, and in a incredibly literal sense, in the life of Calvin Weir-Fields. From the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks takes a clever and creative angle on what usually is a typical, indie love story film. The central characters are young novelist Calvin (Paul Dano) and eccentric and slightly peculiar Ruby (Zoe Kazan). While this may sound like an archetypal, typical romantic comedy, there is a catch: Calvin has actually willed Ruby into existence by merely writing about her.
Calvin, obviously amazed by the fact that, yes, he created Ruby out of what seems like thin air, then begins to realize that he could (if he wanted to, of course) change any detail about his love with the push of a key from his typewriter. The film takes on a humorous and light-hearted tone at the beginning, revealing different quirks about both characters, until finally, Ruby and Calvin both crack. Ruby, like every other person in a healthy relationship, decides she needs space from her significant other. The idea of Ruby, Calvin’s dream girl, wanting a little time away seemed insane to him, so Calvin begins taking advantage of this “miracle.” He remembers he could change her.
Ruby Sparks is a film that is definitely relevant and relatable especially to college students in relationships, but also to those who aren’t. As a lesson for future healthy companionship: compromise is key; space is needed. How perfect – or not – would your relationship be if you could literally write up what you want your significant other to be like? The idea seems tempting for sure. Want a particular height, weight, hair color, and personality? Check, check, check and check. Real relationships, though, healthy ones included, are far from perfect. Couples cannot simply be glued to each other all day every day, and fights are normal as well as necessary. Ruby seemed to notice this before Calvin, evident in one particular scene where she asks him if she can find a job or a hobby outside of his house because she realized she needed to interact with others.
This film is able to beautifully explore the depths of human interactions and connections in a smooth and comedic fashion. Ruby Sparks serves as a wake-up call to people of all ages. The only “perfect” person exists in one’s imagination, and nowhere else – but if one day the perfect person does pop up out of thin air, just as Calvin’s did, problems can and, more likely than not, will arise.