Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made Little Miss Sunshine, one of the two or three best fllms of 2006, based on an Oscar-winning screenplay by Michael Arndt. And now they’ve got Ruby Sparks, based on a script by Zoe Kazan, that Fox Searchlight is opening on 7.25. And nobody’s talking about it…yet. Shouldn’t we be? Dayton and Faris are good. Maybe things’ll shift into a higher gear next week or something.
IMDB logline: “A novelist struggling with writer’s block (Paul Dano) finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character (Kazan) he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.”
Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Chris Messina and Elliott Gould costar.
An IMDB guy has claimed or or inferred that Ruby Sparks is about a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG).
“The MPDG Wiki page notes that “film critic Nathan Rabin, who coined the term after seeing Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown (2005), describes the MPDG as ‘that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.’
“MPDGs are said to help their men without pursuing their own happiness, and such characters never grow up, thus their men never grow up.
“MPDGs are usually static characters who have eccentric personality quirks and are unabashedly girlish. They invariably serve as the romantic interest for an often brooding or depressed male protagonist. A prime example is Natalie Portman‘s character in the movie Garden State, written and directed by Zach Braff. Kate Hudson‘s character, Penny Lane, in Almost Famous, has been called a MPDG.
“Rabin points to Katharine Hepburn‘s character in Bringing Up Baby (1938) as one of the earliest examples of the archetype; later examples include Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Goldie Hawn’s characters in Cactus Flower and Butterflies Are Free, and Barbra Streisand‘s in What’s Up, Doc (1972). ] Zooey Deschanel’s roles in (500) Days of Summer, Yes Man, and the TV show New Girl have also typified the MPDG.
“The Filmspotting podcast created a list of ‘Top Five Manic Pixie Dream Girls.’ Nathan Rabin appeared as a guest and created his own, separate list of MPDGs. Among those included were Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) in Jules and Jim, Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) in The Lady Eve, Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) in Some Like It Hot, Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) in The Palm Beach Story, and Ruth Gordon‘s Maude in Hal Ashby‘s Harold and Maude.”