A few of my nearest and dearest starting telling me about this film last week, and told me that they think I’d like it. It’s about a writer who falls in love with a girl he created. Then a friend watched it and said that she kept thinking of me during it. As soon as I heard the premise I knew I would love it! Also he uses a typewriter. I didn’t know this until I watched it but it would have sold me even more. (It makes me happy when lovely things/films/books remind friends of me, another Very Good Friend texts me every time she has lemon cake of any kind, heh.)
Anyway, I digress. I do miss you, blog, when I neglect you! The actor Paul Dano who plays the protagonist Calvin, is not particularly good-looking, even after he takes his glasses off. I liked this about him. He is a ‘genius’ (he hates that word) writer, who after a bestselling novel about 10 years ago has found himself unable to write. He sees a nice shrink, Dr Rosenthal, played by Elliot Gould. (Monica’s Dad in Friends – love) His dog Scotty takes precedence in his life. There is something about him that really reminded me of the Vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green. He looks vaguely like Hank, and do you know how John is this wildly famous, fancied author? Some of the things that he said he just sounded like John Green. Perhaps it’s cool to be an author these days…
Calvin starts to have a recurring dream in which a girl talks to him, and after being given a writing assignment by Dr Rosenthal, ‘I can’t write’ and idea sparks and he can’t stop writing about Ruby. He is dying to get back to his sexy typewriter in order to ‘spend time’ with her. Then Scotty starts bringing him an odd ladies shoe, he finds lady shaving cream in his bathroom, a bra down his sofa…what’s going on?
Ruby Sparks (played by Zoe Kazan, very like Zooey Deschanel!) appears in her pyjamas one morning, eating cereal in his kitchen. She is every bit as quirky, arty, and sometimes-not-good-at-life as he imagined. He freaks out and believes he has finally gone mad. After comically and cringily ascertaining that others can indeed see her, Calvin embraces Ruby and the fact that she is finally here. He abandons his writing, she is perfect. They live his love story.
It’s when things start going downhill for Calvin, Ruby wants to get a job, spend time away from him, have some space, that Calvin returns to the typewriter and alters her.
The film was mostly light-hearted, quirky and different. But it has some very serious and thought-provoking underlying themes. (It’s from the director of Little Miss Sunshine.) It calls into question possession in a relationship and trying to change somebody. Calvin isn’t possessive in a bad, damaging way until he starts exerting his control over her actions by his typed words. Zoe Kazan write the screenplay herself, and Calvin is quite tame in the things that he ‘makes’ Ruby do. There’s no awful sex stuff or anything. He just wants to be loved. The message is still there, though.
The moment Calvin sets Ruby free I was both willing and dreading him typing the word. The film ultimately illustrates the saying, ‘If you love something, set it free….if it comes back, it’s yours, and if it doesn’t it was never yours to begin with.’
I came out of it, happy with my relationship and that he would come and see it with me. It had everything in it that I love in films. I adored it.
P.S Zoe and Paul are a couple in real life. They have a baby together. CUTE.