"Ruby Sparks" comes out on a single-disc Blu-ray package featuring the groundbreaking screenwriting debut of actress and writer Zoe Kazan. This young and promising artist is the granddaughter of acclaimed director Elia Kazan and award-winning screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord. Interestingly, this 2012 quirky romantic comedy breathes life through two talented real-life couples involved in the production: directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and actors Kazan and Paul Dano. It also stars Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Chris Messina, and Aasif Mandvi.
Kazan stars as the titular redhead character Ruby, a product of a boy wonder novelist's imagination after long suffering from depression, primarily due to a lackluster love life and a serious writer's block. A decade after desperately struggling to follow up his early success as a best-selling author, this former literary wunderkind incidentally begins penning his ideal girl, and in no time, conjures her out of his head and sees her in the flesh. As she manifests in the real world as the living, breathing woman of his dreams, he fulfills his ultimate fantasy, or so he thought.
Although shot digitally, this picture exudes a very filmic quality with a distinctively realistic but slightly romanticized color palette. Its soft and creamy look suits the mood and tone of its unique love story. Its beautiful colors pop, as if the visual elements on screen come straight from a modern fairy tale.
Images boast amazing clarity and skin tones appear naturally smooth throughout. Blacks and shadow details always remain strong. Whites and highlights are equally impeccable. There are no apparent compression and filtering issues to note anywhere in the movie.
The disc hosts a crystal clear five-channel lossless audio mix, as well as alternative five-channel options in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Turkish, and Hungarian. As expected of such a dialogue-driven piece, the track is mostly quiet and low-key in between minimal directional effects and occasional ambience nicely lingering around the channels. Speaking lines are consistently well-balanced and easily understood. The full-bodied score remains potent throughout the film's running time. No instances of distortion and other aural flaws plague the mix.
This Blu-ray package houses the promotional featurettes "The Story," "The Cast," "Real Life Couples," "Be Careful What You Wish For," and "Los Angeles: The Other Character," along with the film's theatrical trailer. Subtitles are available in a number of languages including English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin (Traditional), Greek, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
"Ruby Sparks" impresses as an insightful and magical cautionary tale about the idealized version of a person's loved one. This bittersweet romance about a writer and his muse abounds with wistful possibilities without insulting the audience's intelligence. It doesn't fall prey to the fake and manipulative route that this type of high-concept material is often very much prone to. Part satire, part sentimental love story, this is the type of film that can spark multiple viewings because of its genuinely multifaceted presentation. The smart script, brilliant direction, and likeable characters offer many intriguing layers hidden deep beneath its crust, which readily helps win many viewers over.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Nicholas Kazan
- Zoe Kazan
- Elia Kazan
- Antonio Banderas
- Annette Bening