A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
In this offbeat romantic comedy, genius author Calvin Weir-Fields is lonely and suffering from writer’s block. Calvin became famous at 19 after writing a best-selling novel, but despite his success he has no friends save his dog Scotty, his brother, Harry and his therapist. Calvin longs for companionship but has a hard time meeting women interested in who he really is, rather than his celebrity status. After being inspired by a prompt from his therapist, Calvin imagines his ideal woman and begins feverishly writing the story of her and their relationship, willing Ruby into existence as a result. After assuring himself that Ruby is in fact real, and not a hallucination, Calvin discovers he can change anything about her just by writing it into their story.
Ruby Sparks tackles the real difficulties relationships face, but through a fantastic story. The how’s and why’s of Ruby’s existence are asked, but left unanswered because they aren’t necessary. The real questions are about how we treat the people we love, and what happens when they don’t live up to our expectations. Calvin is a decent person at heart, but as his once idyllic relationship with Ruby becomes strained we see another side of him that can be manipulative, insecure, even hurtful. As much as Calvin and Ruby’s scenario could never happen in real life, it reflects the common experiences we all face with those we love. The illusion of perfection, the disenchantment or boredom that sets in, the fear of being abandoned or betrayed, and how to let go of someone.
The film is both clever and touching, at its best reminiscent of Woody Allen but not quite hitting the same notes. While not your typical feel-good, happily-ever-after sort of love story, it’s still satisfying to watch the main characters grow and learn something about their own hearts, and how best to care for those of others.
Review by Rachel