27 September 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

How to follow the success of Little Miss Sunshine? Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton finally settled on a film that elides life and art: just the thing for a husband-and-wife team

As directing partners who happen also to be married, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are doubly anomalous. Their comedy-dramas – Little Miss Sunshine, which inspired a Sundance bidding war and won two Oscars, and the new Ruby Sparks, a bizarre psychological love story – are searching, compassionate and zesty. Judging by the hour I spend with them, their relationship is no less stimulating. They welcome me into their hotel room with a merry babble of overlapping greetings. They don't so much finish each other's sentences as nip in and out of them, supplying any just-out-of-reach words or asides as though passing the condiments across the dinner table.

In his straw Panama hat, striped shirt and navy tank-top, Dayton, who is 55, looks like a bearded, »

- Ryan Gilbey

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