In Ruby Sparks, the second film from the directing duo behind Little Miss Sunshine, Paul Dano plays Calvin, a twenty-something writer who wrote a best-selling novel while still in his teens and has since been struggling to overcome writer’s block and take control of his life. The only person he hangs out with—aside from his smarmy agent (Steve Coogan) and his therapist (Elliot Gould)—is his brother. His number one hobby is procrastination. He hasn’t had a girlfriend in years. But all that changes when he wakes up to find that he’s somehow managed to will fictional character Ruby Sparks—a painter, orphaned at a young age, dropped out of high school after an affair with a teacher, Calvin’s dream girl—into existence.
It’s an interesting premise, one that tackles writing and creativity in a meta sort of way (which I have a soft spot for) while also taking a look at a common trope: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl.