There is a lot we can control in life, and while some of it may be more challenging to control than others, we as humans find comfort in our ability to control, well, pretty much everything. Our schedules, our diets, our exercise, and given the wonders of technology we can even control who in our vast circles of facebook friends get to see what we’re doing…at this. Exact. Moment. …but much as we try, and I’ve tried, we still can’t quite seem to control who we love…or can we?
The complexities of this age-old human conundrum are beautifully woven into Ruby Sparks, written by and starring Zoe Kazan. The film exposes the dark underbelly of fear and control as young novelist Calvin (Paul Dano) literally writes to life his very own girlfriend, Ruby Sparks. After he creates her and realizes that he can control her by writing about her, he vows never to write about her again. But, as he begins to sense her emotional drift away from his affections, the temptation to control her by putting pen to paper overwhelms his sense of morality.
The film almost gruesomely begs the question, “How much freedom do we really want for those we love?” As Calvin is tempted to control Ruby, he ultimately arrives at this problem: We are as free to love as we are to leave. Can we truly love someone who we hold captive by our own fears of abandonment?
Let these questions sit with you a while as you lose yourself in this artful and comedic exploration of love, control, and letting go.