The film opens with 29-year-old Calvin (Paul Dano) struggling to write a second novel after the extraordinary success of his first novel, written at age nineteen. Under pressure from his agent to write a new novel and his brother’s taunts (Chris Messina) about an uncertain future, Calvin meets with his therapist (Elliot Gould) who suggests that he write something, anything.
Calvin starts writing about the beautiful girl (Zoe Kazan) who appears in his dreams. He gives her a name (Ruby Sparks) and shortly afterward, she appears in his kitchen. At first, Calvin thinks he is losing his mind, but is reassured when he discovers that others can see her as well. He introduces her as his girlfriend and even takes her out to visit his hippie mother (Annette Benning) and step-father (Antonio Banderas).
Romantic comedy with a dark twist…That is probably the best description of Ruby Sparks. And while the film does deliver comedic moments as well as more serious relationship scenes, I would personally have preferred more humor. In particular, I enjoyed the scenes with Chris Messina, Annette Benning and Antonio Banderas.