Ruby: What's your dog's name?
Calvin: Uh, Scotty. I named him for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Ruby: Isn't that disrespectful?
Ruby: Naming your dog after him? It's a little disrespectful. You're a novelist. So you name your dog after him to cut him down to size. Kill your idols, man. I'm all for it.
Calvin: Ruby Sparks. Twenty-six years old. Raised in Dayton, Ohio. Ruby's first crushes were Humphrey Bogart and John Lennon. She cried the day she found out they were already dead. Ruby got kicked out of high school for sleeping with her art teacher... or maybe her Spanish teacher. Ruby can't drive. She doesn't own a computer. She hates her middle name, which is Tiffany. She always, always roots for the underdog. She's complicated. That's what I like best about her. She can feel a change coming. She's looking for it. Something new.
Ruby: I'm such a mess.
Calvin: I love your mess.
"Kiss me, stupid."
"The only person that you wanted to be in a relationship with, was you."
"This is the true and impossible story of my very great love. In the hope that she will not read this and reproach me, I have withheld many telling details: her name, the particulars of her birth and upbringing, and any identifying scars or birth marks."
"All the same, I cannot help but write this for her, to tell her "I'm sorry for every word I wrote to change you, I'm sorry for so many things. I couldn't see you when you were here and, now that you're gone, I see you everywhere."
"One may read this and think it's magic, but falling in love is an act of magic, so is writing. It was once said of Catcher In The Rye, "That rare miracle of fiction has again come to pass: a human being has been created out of ink, paper and the imagination." I am no J.D. Salinger, but I have witnessed a rare miracle. Any writer can attest: in the luckiest, happiest state, the words are not coming from you, but through you. She came to me wholly herself, I was just lucky enough to be there to catch her."
- Ruby Sparks (2012) by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris.
This is probably one of the best films I've seen this year (so bad it hasn't been nominated to the Golden Globes, but they overlook so many great independent films every year), and one of the best I've ever seen. Ruby Sparks is a powerful, surprising, funny, tender, tragic, and really sincere love story. Besides its fantastic basic premise, the thing that makes me love it so much, being a writer myself, it's how the writer's struggle and the love relationship are portrayed. This is not one of those sugar filled stories, this is real, raw, joyful yet painful at times, and intense. You can see how the main couple struggle to get through the ups and downs that every relation has, and that everlasting happiness is quite difficult to maintain.
Along with all that, the performances from the main actors, Paul Dano as Calvin and Zoe Kazan as Ruby, are extraordinary and compelling. Paul Dano is an excellent actor - he amazed me in There Will Be Blood, in a tour de force with the highly talented Daniel Day-Lewis -, and does a great job as being this nerdy, cute and a bit self-absorted writer. Zoe Kazan - who is the granddaughter of the genious director Elia Kazan, and that I've discovered thanks to this film - gave us a lovely and heartbreaking performance, specially on the last part of the film, where she manages to make you feel all the changes she's experiencing. Also, she's the writer of the story, so congrats to her for having such a brilliant idea and present us this beautiful story. But let's not forget about the supporting actors, because we have here great performances by Chris Messina (as Calvin's brother), the always interesting and hilarious Steve Coogan (as Calvin's fellow writer), Annette Bening, Elliout Gould, Antonio Banderas, and Deborah Ann Woll as Lila, Calvin's ex. It was really nice to see Deborah in a brief yet emotional performance, since I'm a big fan of her on True Blood, where she plays the vampire Jessica Hamby.
The other things that make this film so special are: the outstanding direction by co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who also directed Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine, and have directed the video of one of my favorite songs, 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins), the wonderful photography and locations (as you can see in the pics above), and the great soundtrack including french lovely songs from Plastic Bertrand and Sylvie Vartan:
Note aside: Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan are also a couple in real life, they've been dating for five years now, and as you can see below, they're as cute together as they're in the film.