Ruby Sparks isn’t a current film, it was released last year in 2012. It was on my must-watch list, but I think the précis of a blocked writer who writes about a woman he has dreamt about, the ‘dream girl’, and who then mysteriously appears in his life as his girlfriend was a bit hard to swallow. But now that I have watched it I’m so pleased I did. It’s not your typical movie, although on its basic level it’s a rom-com, but it shows and says so much more than your average rom-com. The film is kind of funny, kind of sweet, and kind of sinister and written by a woman. The film’s writer and star of the movie, Zoe Kazan, said she wrote the piece to object to male writers who portray female roles with little substance.
The film also comments on the balance of power in relationships, observing the frustration when a partner fails to live up expectations or how someone isn’t how you imagined them to be, or how you first envisioned them, or what you misread, or possibly how ‘love’ blinded you. It’s about the balance between the ongoing control and surrender that some have in a relationship, and how many people surrender who they are so to fit into another’s expectation into how they should be, behave, their interests etc. People surrendering their essence.
Kazan said in an interview on Indiewire that the film drew on some of her relationship experiences where there’s been a power in balance, and where she felt that the person she was with loved some idea of her, but not the actual person.
This film had me laughing out loud at times but toward the end when the comedy grew darker it felt like there was an elephant sitting beside me in the room and I couldn’t sit comfortably.
It’s not a perfect film, it has a slow start and many were unsatisfied with the ending, but it reminds you why you watch films, not just to be entertained with a good storyline and witty dialogue but the value of another human being and appreciating people for who they truly are.
Moral of the film: we need more women film writers telling our story and that relationships work best when people stay true to themselves and in the end if the other person in the relationship doesn’t like it, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.
David Foster Wallace said: fiction’s about what it is to be a human being, which I think is true for certain films and Ruby Sparks is one of them.