Recently released from FOX, Ruby Sparks is the story of a boy and a girl. But it's oh so much more than that. The boy, Calvin (Paul Dano, Little Miss Sunshine), is a young, best selling author who is struggling to find inspiration to repeat his success. At the advice of his therapist, Dr. Rosenthal (Elliot Gould, MASH), he writes about a girl that can accept him as he is. And then the girl, Ruby (Zoe Kazan, Dano's real life girlfriend and the writer of this film), appears in his apartment.
Now, Calvin is not going crazy. At least, he doesn't appear to be. His brother, Harry (Chris Messina, The Mindy Project, Damages), can see her, too, as can everyone else. Once viewers are able to suspend that disbelief, one can really get invested in the tale of this couple, who are made for each other, on one side, quite literally.
But no one is perfect. As much as Ruby is the girl that Calvin imagines he wants to be with, she is also a fully developed person, not just a two dimensional figure on paper. Which means, she has a mind of her own, and can do things that bug Calvin, or make him feel down on himself. Calvin has the power to change Ruby at any time just by whipping his type writer back out. It isn't too long before he gives in to temptation and does just that.
One can tell that Ruby Sparks is written by a woman. Rather than rewriting Ruby for sexual purposes, an option brought up by Harry, but quickly dismissed by the more sensitive Calvin, he just tweaks her personality so that she is devoted to him, and he gets rids of things about her he finds annoying. However, when Calvin begins to remove layers, even with the best of intentions, because, after all, she is his creation, and so it could be argued that he has a right to make adjustments, he also erases the essence that makes Ruby Ruby. She no longer has free will, nor is she the person he wanted to be with. This is a case of over-thinking things.
Ruby Sparks really makes the audience think, too. Surely, many people have dreamed up a scenario such as this, but how many have taken time to really explore what being in this situation would mean? How many consider all the implications and nuanced rules that would go hand in hand with the occurrence? Kazan proves her talents as a writer quite handily, really fleshing out everything in a very believable way.