RUBY SPARKS Writer/Star Speaks

We like to think of her as the Anti-Zooey (Deschanel). But it turns out there’s much, much more going on here:

Zoe Kazan, ‘Ruby Sparks’ Writer & Star: ‘Quirky’ Means Nothing
by Christopher Rosen

For her screenwriting debut, actress Zoe Kazan wrote what she knew: A story about the writing process.

The 28-year-old comes from a family of writers — screenwriters Nicholas Kazan (“Reversal of Fortune”) and Robin Swicord (“Little Women”) are her parents, while her grandmother is the late playwright Molly Kazan; Kazan’s grandfather is Elia Kazan, the late and acclaimed director — and her script for “Ruby Sparks” focuses on Calvin, a famed novelist (played by Paul Dano, Kazan’s real-life boyfriend), with a decade-long case of writer’s block. Spurred on by a dream, Calvin begins to write about Ruby Sparks (Kazan), an idealized version of a woman who miraculously comes to life — giving Cal everything he dreamed of in a girl, for better and worse.

If that sounds like a typical quirky indie film, don’t tell that to Kazan (seriously, she hates the term “quirky”). Thanks to a strong script that is never predictable and assured direction from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine”), “Ruby Sparks” is an indie romance that also works as a repudiation of indie romances.

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