Up and coming ingénue Zoe Kazan has been steadily building her reputation as an actress by balancing supporting roles in big Hollywood productions like Revolutionary Road and It's Complicated with turns in riskier indie fare like Meek's Cutoff and The Exploding Girl. Now, she has made the leap to screenwriter, penning herself a starring role in the fantastical rom-com Ruby Sparks.
Here, she plays the literal—and titular—dream girl of a struggling aspiring novelist named Calvin, portrayed by her real-life beau Paul Dano. When flustered by a crippling writer's block he busts out of his rut by indulging in the creation of a character called Ruby Sparks, a spunky rebel that he can't help but fall for even if she is a figment of his imagination. However, that all changes when she abruptly appears and is real! The film's first trailer reveled in the giddy exhilaration of his growing infatuation, and now Fox Searchlight Pictures is sharing a clip that appears to be Calvin and Ruby's meet-cute. Check it out below thanks to Yahoo:
Though Kazan is untested as a screenwriter, I had high hopes for Ruby Sparks as I've been repeatedly impressed by her insightful and moving performances. However, this clip is pretty painfully precious. From Calvin's unsolicited explanation of his dog's name to Ruby's pushy dissection of what this name says about Calvin, the drive of the dialogue feels forced in its attempt to be clever. Which really, a couple of years ago would have been fine enough for a fluffy summer indie penned by a twenty-something actress.
However, now in the wake of 26-year-old writer/director/actress Lena Dunham—whose controversial but critically acclaimed series Girls just snagged five Emmy nominations for its first season—this just isn't enough to impress anymore. Hopefully, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who co-directed the spirited indie Little Miss Sunshine, will ultimately smooth the rough edges of Kazan's romantic notions better than this clip suggests.
Ruby Sparks opens July 25th in limited release.
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