Rudy Sparks is the new long awaited film from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine. Written and starring Zoe Kazan who plays the title character, the plot centres around Calvin (Paul Dano), a young novelist who is struggling to match the success of his previous work. When he has a dream of a girl called Ruby (Kazan), he is inspired to write about her, only for the girl of his dreams to appear in his kitchen the next day in the real world. With a strong supporting cast featuring Elliott Gould as a therapist, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Alia Shawkat and Steve Coogan as a sleazy fellow novelist. Chris Messina is particularly good as Calvin’s brother, adding humorous disbelief to proceedings.
This is a joy to watch with bags of charm to spare. Taken inspiration from Woody Alllen, although not as self indulgent, Ruby Sparks does not fall under the trap of being too schmaltzy or quirky for its own good. Even if it is a tad predictable, this is a film filled with likeable performances and a big heart at the centre.