In the time that we've been writing about Ruby Sparks, which went into production as He Loves Me, it's seemed like a rejoinder to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl stereotype, in which a flighty and beautiful woman comes into a sad sack's life and makes everything better. The script is written by the actress Zoe Kazan, who also stars as the title character, and who seems like a smart enough cookie to avoid cliches on her first screenwriting go-around. And it attracted directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, who made the excellent Little Miss Sunshine and who, despite creating a lot of indie cliches with their film, seem interested in avoiding old ones.

So why, then, does the first trailer for Ruby Sparks seem to embrace all those cliches, without giving any indication that it might tear them down? See what I mean below in the trailer, which you can also watch in HD at Apple:

It looks charming and energetic and well-acted by the pretty impressive cast, and the Fox Searchlight logo at the end seems like the cherry on top-- this is selling itself as exactly the light romantic comedy that the indie studio has perfected over the years. But seriously, where's the twist? Do they really want me to think this is a rom-com that happens to be between a guy and the girl he invented, as his literal dream girl? I know there's something more here, and I can't figure out why Searchlight won't sell it to me.

Regardless, with a strong cast and a very engaging trailer, Ruby Sparks should have no trouble securing an audience for its July 25. I just hope the nuance that I assume is there really does exist, and that it emerges somewhere in the marketing before then.

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