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Ruby Sparks [DVD]

Paul Dano , Zoe Kazan , Jonathan Dayton , Valerie Faris    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: £4.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Ruby Sparks [DVD] + The Perks of Being a Wallflower [DVD] + Silver Linings Playbook [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan
  • Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb 2013
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008OHD2BU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,664 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A young author creates a character based on his dream girl, and gets the surprise of his life when she turns out to be real. Celebrated novelist Calvin (Paul Dano) used to be the darling of the literary scene; now he's wondering if he'll ever actually write another book. His inspiration at an all-time low, Calvin creates Ruby (screenwriter/co-star Zoe Kazan) and the ideas start flowing. A week later, when Ruby shows up in Calvin's apartment completely smitten, the lonely writer begins to fear he's losing his mind. Elliott Gould, Chris Messina, and Annette Bening also star.

Special Features:
  • 3 Featurettes--The Story / Real Life Couples / Be Careful What You Wish For


A romantic comedy about love and control from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks is an appealingly wacky story about novelist Calvin (Paul Dano) and his relationship with a fictitious woman. Struggling with writer's block and grieving over a failed actual relationship, Calvin looks to his brother (Chris Messina) and therapist (Elliott Gould) for guidance, but initially he finds only distraction and frustration. The therapist suggests an assignment that soon has Calvin writing about Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), a fictitious woman who loves him completely and unconditionally. The only problem is that Calvin is becoming obsessed with his new character, imagining that he's actually spending every waking moment with this ideal woman he's created--surely a sign that he's losing his mind. When Calvin discovers that other people can see Ruby too, he throws himself wholeheartedly into the perfect relationship with the perfect woman. Then he starts to feel guilty about possessing absolute control over Ruby's thoughts and actions and begins to question whether Ruby really loves him or whether he is making her love him. Calvin locks away his manuscript and stops writing, and things begin to change between the couple. Eventually Calvin must decide whether he can be content the way things are or whether he must set his creation free--even if it costs him his own happiness. Ruby Sparks is a romantic comedy full of laughably ridiculous situations, but it's also a thought-provoking film about control and acceptance. --Tami Horiuchi

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happens when "Pygmalion" turns nasty?.. 10 Jun 2013
Leaving the synopsis aside (please read the synopsis above), this is a romantic comedy with a twist (that at some point almost makes it a psychological thriller!). A bitter twist. Within an hour and a half of the film we see the magic love story developing right before our eyes, the bits that cannot be explained are not too big to think about, until, further into the film, the unexplained grows bigger and bigger and turns nasty. A love story, a bit "Pigmalion-ish", a man creates a woman to love. But then, suddenly, the woman born for loving her creator has some other ideas and much prefers a night out on the town flirting with men than spending a night in with her soul-mate. The idea of the film is not that original, but it is so well-made and so well-acted (especially compared to many rom-coms flooding the cinema market nowadays), that I was pleasantly surprised.

"Ruby Sparks" is described as a rom-com (and it had a wonderful movie poster that would not have you guessed what profound issues this film covers), and there are indeed many fine moments that made me laugh (Antonio Banderas shines for a short time he is on screen). But the film also examines a number of serious issues: free will and controlling nature of a human being. I consider "Ruby Sparks" much better than your average romantic comedy (if only a tiny bit boring at times).

The two leads are not your typical Hollywood heartbreakers; another plus - the chemistry between them is great! I guess it helped that Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan are real couple off screen. The break-up scene is greatly played out, and another star goes for a very unsettling moment during the break-up - amazing acting and one of the strongest moments of the film.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fresh, brilliant and provocative 22 July 2013
By Elleppi
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Here's a little gem that will make you live an uncommon and smart adventure like few movies can in times like these. Ruby Sparks has got the right mix of comedy, romance, drama and (realistic) surrealism to stick in your mind even after watching it. Definitely one of the best indipendent movies of these years
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies. 30 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Personally, one of the best movies i've seen, it's a great story, with excellent acting. This was always a must purchase for me ever since i saw it at the cinema. It's a charming movie, that keeps you interested for the whole movie, with a dark side to it. Paul Dano does an excellent job... and the leading female role is played by the author of the original book/story
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed A Ruby Spark 3 Feb 2014
Many men think they want a woman they can control completely, but where is the fun in that? I always find that a healthy dose of panic and a sense of the unknown make for a good relationship. Perhaps Calvin could have heeded these words in ‘Ruby Sparks’, a science fiction-lite about what would happen if a hipster author conjured up a woman from his imagination.

‘Ruby Sparks’ is a sweet film, but calling something sweet is a little like damning with faint praise. The film has a whimsical edge to it that makes it perfectly watchable, but it lacks the bite needed for it to stick in the memory. The slightly too cool for school attitude prevails throughout; laid back performances by Paul Dano and ZoŽ Kazan are at the centre of the movie and really ingrain a slight lethargy to proceedings. This is a shame as the idea is a great one; ‘Stranger than Fiction’ did something similar, but was able to have more likable leads.

That is not to say that either Calvin or Ruby is unlikable, just a little bland. The film is unable to break out in any direction; is it a comedy, drama, horror? It sits in-between all these and eventually becomes just ‘is’. ‘Robot and Frank’ had the same indie sentimentalities to science fiction, but that film had the pathos and emotion this one lacks. If Calvin had learned a little more, or been hit emotionally a little harder, the film could have broken out into something really special. As it is, the film is still watchable and interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie 20 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this at the cinema when it came out and loved it. I really enjoyed watching this when it arrived as well, it's a very unusual film I think, but beautifully acted and the score is sensational by Nick Urata.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film! 21 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Well worth watching. Really good storyline, acting, music, direction - in fact, just about everything. The whole family enjoyed this one - admittedly they also found it to be a bit 'weird' :)
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Metafiction 15 Oct 2012
Paul Dano plays Calvin, a dead sad and dead serious young writer, who has apparently used the royalties from his one hugely popular novel to finance an ultramodern iPod-themed house, and yet still chooses to use a typewriter. In the depths of his writer's block he fashions a few choice sentences about a woman - Ruby Sparks - who is his dream girl. His literature makes her literal, and Calvin is able to control her moods and actions by typing. It's reminiscent of Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell, although Dano plays his part more like Jim Carrey might have done a decade ago: broad and physical, but with subtlety and pathos behind the mugging.

In a welcome tonal shift, Ruby Sparks moves gradually from hip romantic comedy to meta-horror - although it feels like there's a bit too much of the former, as I got the feeling that the zany pixie girl and self-hating writer stereotypes were being indulged more than they were being deconstructed. So what could have been a really interesting Woody Allen-esque philosophical rabbit-hole ends up cutting a far more familiar, shallower groove. But still, it's satisfying to see a cautionary flourish to go with the wish fulfilment.

Ruby herself is played by ZoŽ Kazan, granddaughter of the great Elia (On the Waterfront et al), with great energy and some charm. Kazan also wrote the film. So we have a film about art imitating life, written by the actor playing the title character, starring her real-life partner (Dano), and directed by the real-life partnership of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (best known for Little Miss Sunshine). So it's a helluva conundrum; but it's also well-made, sometimes funny and thought-provoking, and includes amusing cameos from Elliot Gould, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan and Antonio Banderas - so definitely worth a watch.
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