Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
It's a good thing not to know where a film is going - we need surprises, we need to be spun around a few times - and Ruby Sparks, which is about a writer and his muse, but then becomes more about the muse and her writer, is happily just such a film.
Parts of Ruby Sparks are glowing and gentle. Others are harsh. Still others are wrenching. The transitions are expertly handled, never seeming jarring or inappropriate. If the movie feels like two shorter pieces grafted at the middle, that's an intentional decision. The filmmakers give us something approaching a traditional romantic comedy before deconstructing it.
As a whole, however, Ruby Sparks lands like a punch. It's a smart counter-jab to the many movies out there that put forth the myth that the world is full of quirky angels in ballet flats who are just waiting for some morose protagonist to come along in need of their love.
Ruby Sparks is a romantic comedy that takes off from a premise so fanciful it needs every bit of the freshness that Dano brings it.
A beguiling romantic fantasy about the creative process and its potential to quite literally take on a life of its own, Ruby Sparks performs an imaginative high-wire act with finesse and charm.
A movie about the power of the imagination really becomes a movie about a certain element of surrender - about the release of power - that is practically a requirement for loving somebody.
The fictional premise is used cleverly to illuminate the creative process and explore romantic minefields, and the appealing Ruby Sparks has a low-key, polished charm.
The result is something you won't see coming. Don't look for sweet and embraceable. This movie is not afraid to show its claws. Like the spirited teamwork of Kazan and Dano, Ruby Sparks is honest, deep and true.
Ruby Sparks is far from a landmark in the rickety pantheon of romantic comedy, and under the direction of Dayton and Faris it gnaws a little too hard on its magical-realist trickery. But it's great to see them help an emerging young writing talent like Kazan make her mark by by sweeping away male fantasies of pliant girls and replacing them with a desirable, flesh-and-blood woman.
There is a great deal of playfulness between the couple that will touch the romantic in most.
It often feels as if the filmmakers expect us to be equally seduced by Ruby's wide-eyed winsomeness. That's a shame, as we can sense the deeper film beneath the surface. Because Ruby remains conceptual, this ambitious project lacks the dimension of the similarly meta-minded Charlie Kaufman projects that apparently inspired it.
What's good in the film, which was shot superbly by Matthew Libatique, is so good - so exuberant and touching and sweet - that you want the whole thing to be perfect, but Ruby Sparks is a closed system that gradually turns in on itself. There isn't enough of someone else.

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