From Book To Movie: Ruby Sparks (2012)
As regular blog readers will know, I enjoy watching and discussing movies based on books and thought it would be a good idea to have an occasional feature where I talk about adaptations currently in the theaters or recently released on DVD.
Title: Ruby Sparks
Adapted From: Pygmalion-Greek Myth
It is a modernization of the original story so a great deal of liberties are taken to make it fit into a modern context (and the ending is quite different as well!). Instead of the Pygmalion being a sculpture he is a writer and Ruby is a character in his story.
A novelist struggling with writer’s block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.
Things I liked:
- I felt Paul Dano was well cast as the struggling writer who is trying to live up to his former glory.
- The plot was fun and clever, with some really stand out moments that were at times sad and laugh out loud funny.
- The character arc was well developed and I felt really fit how I think an event like this would play out in real life.
- This first half of the film is great, it is really entertaining and I think the lead actors do a great job.
I liked the montage when Ruby and Calvin first get together, it really had some sweet and endearing moments.
Things I disliked:
- The second half of the film in which the relationship faces challenges is less impressive. Though I felt Dano really did a great job of showing the heart break of the writer, the actress who played Ruby didn’t do the dramatic bits as well as she did the sweet and comedic moments in the first half of the film.
- The ending, though satisfactory to me, felt a little predictable and I felt other films did a similar sort of bittersweet ending better.
- It had a great concept but I felt it was rather unoriginal in it’s approach to telling the story, very similar to ‘stranger than fiction’ and other indie films I have seen.
This is another film that I have mixed feelings about. It has a really interesting premise but it felt similar to other films I have seen recently. I feel like “500 Days of Summer” broached similar topics with a much more adept hand and with two much more magnetic leads. Though it has some fun and entertaining moments, I felt that it often seemed like it was trying too hard to be intellectual and compelling. The result is an uneven film that while sometimes charming and intriguing, often feels quite heavy-handed and melodramatic.
Other Adaptations: I wrote about one of my favorite adaptations of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion a couple of months ago for my Awesome Adaptations feature. Check it out my thoughts on that version here.