You already know this: Spend any amount of time in a relationship with anyone—friendship, professional, or otherwise—and you'll find something you want to change in them. He chews with his mouth open. She laughs too loudly. His emails are riddled with grammatical errors.
But of course, romance adds another layer of complexity—especially if you live with your significant other. Even the best relationship will lead, one day, to a desire to tweak, alter, modify a bit: maybe an annoying habit or attitude, maybe a physical feature, maybe a way of dealing with the world. And if you're dreaming about Mr. or Ms. Right, you're always putting together the perfect person in your head. Tall! Dark hair! Funny! Likes cats!
That's precisely where we find our hero, Calvin (Paul Dano), who published his first book at a too-early age and managed to rocket to the top of the bestseller lists. But that was ten years ago. Since then, he's done little more than write a few acclaimed short stories and have an explosively bad relationship. Now, he's been dreaming about a girl—literally dreaming about her—and he decides to write her into a book. Her name is Ruby Sparks, and she is from Iowa, and pretty, and funny, and knows how to cook. She's devoted and spunky and red-headed. His only friend, his brother Harry (Chris Messina), is amused by his adoration. Calvin starts pounding out a story about her on his typewriter.
And then one day he wakes up, and she's there. In the flesh. In his kitchen, cooking eggs and singing. Real, live Ruby Sparks.
Of course, the thing is that nobody, not even Ruby (played by Zoe Kazan, who also penned this screenplay) can live up to expectations. She cooks and she's spontaneous and playful, but ...1