Ruby Sparks


Ruby Sparks

Critics Consensus

Cleverly written and wonderfully acted, Ruby Sparks overcomes its occasional lags in pace with an abundance of charm and wit.



Total Count: 176


Audience Score

User Ratings: 36,375
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Movie Info

Calvin (Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing - as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person. -- (C) Fox Searchlight


Paul Dano
as Calvin Weir-Fields
Zoe Kazan
as Ruby Sparks
Steve Coogan
as Langdon Tharp
Elliott Gould
as Dr. Rosenthal
Aasif Mandvi
as Cyrus Modi
Emma Julia Jacobs
as Party Goer at Langdon's
Rightor Doyle
as Partygoer 1 - Hammer
Eden Brolin
as Partygoer 2 - Hammer
Michael Silverblatt
as Michael Silverblatt
Mary Jo Deschanel
as Female Professor
Kai Lennox
as Sort of Weird Guy
Ole Olofson
as Older Dude
China Jesusita Shavers
as Partygoer 1 - Book Release
Jack Levinson
as Partygoer 2 - Book Release
Michael Berry Jr.
as Silverlake Passerby
Lindsay Fishkin
as Box Office Teller
Claudia Bestor
as Lecture Curator
as Scotty the Dog
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News & Interviews for Ruby Sparks

Critic Reviews for Ruby Sparks

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (138) | Rotten (38)

  • Sometimes it's worth surrendering to cinematic enchantments, and Ruby Sparks makes a pretty good case for its own magic.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Sure it's been done before -- man brings ideal woman to life -- but not quite like Ruby Sparks. And that sets this film up to be a smart and romantic low-key comedy that goes beyond expectations.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • If the result feels like a Pinocchio story that spends too much time with Geppetto, or a takedown of narcissism that never breaks free of what it's critiquing, Dano nonetheless makes Calvin compelling company.

    Jan 8, 2013

    Justin Chang

    Top Critic
  • Kazan winds up indulging in the very wish-fulfillment she initially sets out to deconstruct.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Ruby Sparks flirts with preciousness and has less fun with its premise than it could have, but that's because it's actually a gently touching metaphorical drama about the real essence of love.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • Ruby Sparks might have been more fun if Cal were written to be expansive instead of a worrywart in the middle-aged Matthew Broderick mode.

    Jan 8, 2013

Audience Reviews for Ruby Sparks

  • Feb 14, 2018
    There may not be a modern day couple that I adore more than Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. Weird to say, especially since I never find myself scouring the trades for their relationship updates or paparazzi photos. It's more so an adoration for their work on screen. Everything from Dano's turns in There Will Be Blood and Prisoners, to Zoe's work in The Big Sick and Our Brand is Crisis. And of course, their work together in Ruby Sparks, Meek's Cutoff (which I have admittedly yet to see), and upcoming film Wildlife. I'm not sure there's a more critically acclaimed working couple on screen. Ruby Sparks is one of those weird films that I've had to sit on for about a week. Dano plays a successful novelist who is going through a bout of writer's block when he finds a character he created has crept her way into his real life, the catch being that everything he writes about her personality and character decisions is exactly the way she acts in real life. Is she real or is this a girl from his dreams that he's hallucinating? Well, that gets answered relatively fast and the result brings heart wrenching drama and a fascinating tale of obsession, controlling behavior, and to tread carefully on how you put someone up to a pedestal. Romantic-comedy-dramas that take chances are always going to be on my good side. I immediately think of 500 Days of Summer, When Harry Met Sally, The Spectacular Now, The Big Sick, Paper Towns, La La Land, Man Up, and The Before Trilogy. All in different ways present a non-cliched representation of a romance. Ruby Sparks may not ultimately be as good as any of those films, but it took chances and provided thought provoking commentary for an otherwise paint by numbers genre. Besides all of the interesting plot and character choices, there's some really powerful performances here. Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll all do great work in bit roles. Kazan and Dano, however, are in an entirely different league. You can clearly see the chemistry the two have off screen plays well into their on screen turns as well. And one thing I noticed about Kazan's work, particularly for this character, is how much she channeled her inner Audrey Hepburn. I was about to write this in my notes and then boom, we see both of their characters watching Sabrina, a classic Hepburn film. A sort of creepy but fascinatingly unique romantic story is what makes Ruby Sparks work so well. I more than recommend this to those interested in original filmmaking. 8.6/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Whether you enjoy Ruby Sparks or no will mostly come down to a matter of taste. As far as the acting and filmmaking go, Ruby Sparks is fine, not outstanding but still what you would expect out of a good indie film. The plot is decent enough as well. The deciding factor will be whether you enjoy art that makes you uncomfortable within a romantic comedy. For myself, I was looking for something lighter and found the vulgarity and dark side to be unexpected and out-of-place. Nonetheless, Ruby Sparks was interesting and I still recommend it.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2015
    Starts out charmingly as a frothy, wish fulfillment romantic fantasy. Had it stayed with that concept it would have been a cute comedy unfortunately about 3/4 of the way through the male lead starts acting like an incredible jackass and the film turns dark never finding its footing again. A disappointing miss.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2014
    Zoe Kazan's intelligent and perceptive script is the anchor to this interesting high conceit film, that's a bit like a more disturbing Stranger Than Fiction.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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