|Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Ruby Sparks, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2012.|
Flying high on the indie-fumes of a meta-film meltdown, pseudo-indie helmers Dayton and Faris, of Little Miss Sunshine fame, concoct a fun and diverting little Summer indie with the indefatigable Ruby Sparks.
Adapted from an original screenplay by talented young actress-writer Zoe Kazan, the movie mostly works in starts and fits, its a sporadic pleaser much like its predecessor. Sparks, our fiery red haired heroine, is actually a fictional character who springs magically from the mind of a young writer played well by Paul Dano. The odd rom-com whirlwind she takes him on makes up for most of the picture. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. Dayton and Faris are good at pulling quirky performances from their diverse casts; their progressive narrative flow and framing aren't their strong suits.
Kazan is a zany revelation, balancing just the right amount of sweet and looney, as she realizes she does not really exist. Dano is strong as the masculine center of the movie. Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliot Gould all have fun with their supporting roles. A mild seasonal Sundance selection, Ruby Sparks is a worthy diversion to get out of the heat and into the a/c.