The Movie: 7/10
I am not a robot. This may seem irrelevant to this movie review, but if you keep reading you will learn more. I have had a terrible sick/flu/cold/something this week, a whole week. It has wiped out my motivation, my energy, me. So, when my husband THE Ascully reminded me today to do the review I was uninterested, to be honest. I am not a robot review writing machine so I can’t summon up just any old collection of words to apply to the watching of this movie. Therefore, what shall I dig up from a week ago, through the haze of coughing, exhaustion, headaches, and more exhaustion? Ruby Sparks is a pretty good movie. There ya go. Oh, not enough?
Ruby Sparks is about a dude who became a famous author when he was just 19, 10 years ago. He’s not writing anything else and struggles with social interactions. We learn this by watching him deal with interviews and the public’s affection for him as the genius writer. He’s seeing a therapist, of course, so he is trying to cope. At once he decides to write about a quirky young woman who loves him endlessly. She’s got a colorful past and a way of behaving that’s free and open. Some might say she’s a free spirit, but that’s annoying to me, so I won’t. Ruby is everything he wants, and he’s lonely so he knows exactly what he wants….or does he?
His fictional Ruby meets the real world, which is a leap of faith as a movie watcher but I was able to do it since it happens fairly organically. Ruby, while he has designed her carefully, has something wrong with her, clearly she’s not real. His jerky brother reads about Ruby before she comes to life and says she’s not a real person. This is our author’s problem. He has written an idea of what he wants a woman to be. She’s cute and fun and smart and is a great cook. She’s loving and supportive and enthusiastic. She is not, however, allowed to be complicated enough. Things don’t stay perfect.
The question of the movie is “how do we love someone as they are, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and not want or need to change them?” It’s a good question. Exploring this whole idea seemed a bit frilly at first and yes, even a touch pretentious. As the story goes on the darkness comes in and it got infinitely better. There is a scene later in the story that just dropped my jaw and elevated the movie from an already high level of entertainment. The honesty of the subject is obvious. It might even make some people uncomfortable. If you are the controlling, desperate, needy type, you might see yourself emerge in our author leading man. If you are a quirky “free spirited” female who gets into a relationship with the aforementioned needy person, you will also see your life shining through somewhat.
It is a romance, and a comedy, so the darkness doesn’t go too too dark, but it’s clear that our hero dude has it in him to be very broken and alone and a little bit creepy. So, as the movie went there, and away from the cutesy stuff, my respect for it grew. Overall it’s a very good movie to watch with your partner. Like I said, for better or worse you do need to learn to love without control. If that can’t happen, it’s probably time to set the fictional idea of your mate just go back into the world to live without your hang ups.
Ruby Sparks is a lovely idea, with a few weaknesses here and there, but not enough to bring it down. The cast is great. The dialogue is awesome. It’s a little gem that should be noticed if you are swimming in block bustery types. Give it a chance. It might just open your eyes to either yourself, or to someone in your life. I like movies that have that potential. As for not being a robot….this is still true.
- Behind The Story – All the featurettes on this disc are kind of empty and do not say much, this one doesn’t say much about the story.
- Real Life Couples – Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan are a real life couple, see how that chemistry translates to the screen.
- Be Careful What You Wish For – The main premise of the film is discussed.
- Getting To Know The Cast – A small amount of on the set interviews with the cast, if you watch all these back to back you get a feeling of deja vu.
- Los Angeles: The Other Character – Another EPK featurette that looks at the city of Los Angeles.
Cover Art and Menus: 9/10
Hallelujah!! The word Hallelujah should always have an exclamation point behind it, right? This cover has thought behind it (see what I did there?) so I like it. It’s not quite to the point of me wanting it as a poster. That might be down to my final thoughts about the movie itself, but even the image is cool at first, but then loses it’s coolness just a little bit. The menu is live action stuff that does show a lot of the movie, so get off it as quickly as possible.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Shot digitally Ruby Sparks looks incredible on Blu-Ray. You might be fooled into thinking this was actually shot on film as a fine veil of grain exists which makes the film look even better. Flesh tones are a little redder than you might want but shadow detail and overall clarity are on par with the latest Blu-Ray releases.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is what you would expect from a mostly dialog driven movie. Surround speakers light up when the score kicks in but aside from that they are mostly quiet. Dialog is crisp clear and centered which is what matters for a movie of this type.
I did enjoy Ruby Sparks. I don’t need it in our collection though, so a good solid rental is worth the price. If you like to own it, it will be about 18 bucks. Got it? Go for it if you think you will watch this movie a few times, just to get your money’s worth. The extras are mostly neutral so they don’t add value, if you are hoping for lots of deep conversations about the subject and the making, you won’t find it.
Overall Score 8/10