Sometimes it's worth surrendering to cinematic enchantments, and Ruby Sparks makes a pretty good case for its own magic.
Sure it's been done before -- man brings ideal woman to life -- but not quite like Ruby Sparks. And that sets this film up to be a smart and romantic low-key comedy that goes beyond expectations.
If the result feels like a Pinocchio story that spends too much time with Geppetto, or a takedown of narcissism that never breaks free of what it's critiquing, Dano nonetheless makes Calvin compelling company.
Kazan winds up indulging in the very wish-fulfillment she initially sets out to deconstruct.
Ruby Sparks flirts with preciousness and has less fun with its premise than it could have, but that's because it's actually a gently touching metaphorical drama about the real essence of love.
Ruby Sparks might have been more fun if Cal were written to be expansive instead of a worrywart in the middle-aged Matthew Broderick mode.
Kazan's script is observant about how we try to control relationships - making this a smart, modern movie. And how often can you say that about a romcom?
Sneaks up on you with deep questions, discomfiting insights and more emotional punch than you may expect.
Ruby Sparks opts for a seemingly darker but ultimately easier resolution, one that involves magic and fantasy and the sort of neat, happily-ever-after finales that only exist in movies.