[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ruby_sparks_547.png]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Readers are going to be very confused by that woman-shaped hole in the page.]]
-> ''"She's out of his mind."''

''Ruby Sparks'' is a 2012 RomanticComedy film, directed by [[Film/LittleMissSunshine Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris]] and [[WrittenByCastMember written by]] Creator/ZoeKazan.

Calvin (Creator/PaulDano) was once a TeenGenius author; 10 years later, he has serious cases of depression and WritersBlock. His only inspiration is Ruby Sparks, the ManicPixieDreamGirl of his (literal) dreams. After writing a doorstopper SelfInsertFic about her, he wakes up one morning to find Ruby (Kazan) [[PygmalionPlot in his kitchen]].

Kazan wrote the screenplay for herself and her boyfriend, playing respectively a fictional character made real and the author who created her. Very meta.

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!!This film provides examples of:
* AbuseMistake: Calvin is rather clueless. It is a good thing that his brother looks out for him. Or would have been a good thing, if it wasn't for the brother being rather clueless himself - not realize that the advice he's giving amounts to inciting supernatural methods for DomesticAbuse.
* {{Adorkable}}
** Calvin and Ruby.
** Mabel.
* BilingualBonus: Ruby's French lines in the kitchen.
* BourgeoisBohemian: Calvin's mother, much to his embarrassment.
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: Calvin wrote Ruby as a completely isolated and orphaned character. Apparently her parents died when she was young.
* ConversationCut: When Calvin finds Ruby with the party host in the pool, he pulls her away and they drive home. Cut to his apartment door where he finally asks her what was going on.
* CrazyJealousGuy: When Ruby's burgeoning social life gets in the way of their time together, Calvin [[spoiler:uses his power as her creator to write her into becoming obsessively dependent on him]].
* {{Defictionalization}}: Ruby is an in-universe example.
* DestructiveRomance: Ruby is perfect for Calvin. She's a real dream girl, and she would never harm him. Unfortunately, Calvin is not as perfect. He is no perfect dream boy, and the ways in which he can harm her are truly terrifying.
* DisappearedDad: It's implied that Calvin still has not quite gotten over the death of his father.
* DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest: The girl Calvin meets at the end of the movie, played by Kazan but now with shorter hair.
* FantasticAesop: Despite his penchant for making Ruby overly dependent on him, on at least one occasion Calvin tries to give her character more autonomy ("Ruby was just Ruby, however she felt."). The result -- Ruby just sits around all day -- is an arbitrarily negative one, which taints the Aesop somewhat.
* FictionAsCoverUp: ''[[spoiler:The Girlfriend]]''
* FeminineWomenCanCook: Ruby is a great cook.
* FreudianCouch
* FriendlessBackground: Calvin. His shrink even states that his only friends are his own brother and his dog.
* GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul: [[spoiler: Calvin does this to Ruby, as part of his destructive tinkering with her personality.]]
* GilliganCut:
** On their first morning Calvin tries to leave the apartment unnoticed but Ruby spots him and asks if she could tag along. He refuses. Cut to them driving off together in his car.
** Calvin doesn't want the chair offered by his step dad. Cut the the next scene with them driving off with the chair in the backseat.
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[spoiler: Calvin rewrites Ruby to be "miserable without him" and sure enough she soon becomes incredibly clingy and dependant on him, to the point she misses him while he's eating breakfast ''beside her'' and has a breakdown on the street because he let go of her hand while they were walking. Once she becomes an emotional wreck he decides to counter this [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul by writing her as being constantly euphoric]]. Which makes her an insufferably happy individual, who looks like she's about to burst into song any second. When he corrects this by writing that "Ruby was just Ruby, however she felt." she ends up getting absolutely lost emotionally, complete with wild mood swings and ends up constantly watching TV for days.]]
* GoodTimesMontage: Scenes of Calvin and Ruby enjoying themselves at an arcade and a disco club.
* GratuitousFrench:
** For reasons attributable only to indie film quirkiness, the non-instrumental songs on the soundtrack are all in French.
** Also, Calvin has Ruby start speaking French to prove to Harry that he created her [[spoiler:and he later pulls the same trick to demonstrate the same thing to Ruby herself]].
* HappilyMarried: Calvin's mom and stepdad seem very happy together. His brother Harry and his wife also seem to have a good marriage, [[spoiler: despite some earlier problems]].
* HardWorkMontage: Calvin, in a fit of inspiration, is shown working hours on end on his typewriter, carving out his MagicalGirlfriend character on paper.
* HeroesWantRedheads:
** Downplayed with Ruby, whose hair has red tones, but looks either auburn or brown in different lights.
** Calvin's mother.
* HippieParents: Calvin's mom and stepdad.
* InnocentBlueEyes: Ruby has them.
* ItsAllAboutMe: There's no denying Calvin is very self absorbed. [[spoiler: His ex Lila attempts to call him out on this, unintentionally describing most of his relationship problems with Ruby in the process.]]
* LoveAtFirstSight: DoubleSubverted. When Calvin first sees Ruby in the flesh, he's scared out of his gourd and convinced that he's hallucinating. But when he's convinced that she's not a hallucination (and apologizes to her appropriately for his FreakOut), he's head over heels in love.
* MadnessMantra: [[spoiler: "You're a genius! You're a genius! You're a genius!"]]
* MagicalGirlfriend: An ideal, though fictional, LoveInterest coming to live for Calvin.
* MagicRealism: about a writer who dashes off twenty pages about his perfect woman in a fit of inspiration. When said perfect woman appears in the flesh in his apartment, at first he freaks out, but soon he accepts it as a bona fide miracle.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: All of Calvin's written/dreamt interactions with Ruby play out like this. Once she's real, [[spoiler: their relationship becomes a {{Deconstruction}}, with Ruby being a DeconstructedCharacterArchetype]].
* MeetCute: Happens to Calvin with both Ruby and her DoppelgangerReplacementLoveInterest at the end. Apparently the shrink's advice to use Scotty as a way of making contact worked out after all.
* MickeyMousing: The first morning Calvin encounters Ruby in his apartment, the music punctuates his "stealthy" walk down the stairs.
* MindRape: The climactic scene, and it is ''extremely'' uncomfortable to watch.
* MoodDissonance: The climatic scene, Ruby is barking like a dog, doing sexy dancing, and spinning around [[spoiler:while crying her eyes out, and Calvin is in a full AGodAmI mode, but is also crying, and the whole thing plays off as a rape scene]].
* MostWritersAreWriters: Calvin is a young novelist struggling with writer's block.
* MuseAbuse: The relationship started well, turned abusive. Although Calvin did managed to finish the book based on Ruby after he repents.
* NoAntagonist: Calvin is up against himself.
* TheOneThatGotAway: [[spoiler:Ruby. Later subverted, if that girl was actually her.]]
* OnlySaneMan: Patrick.
* OrbitalKiss: Interesting variant with the camera steady while Calvin and Ruby are kissing on his rotating swivel chair.
* ThePollyanna: Ruby.
* PopCulturalOsmosisFailure: Ruby has never heard of the writer Creator/FScottFitzgerald.
* PowerPerversionPotential: When Calvin and his brother Harry find out that [[RewritingReality anything he writes about Ruby comes true]], Harry immediately suggests Calvin write that Ruby has bigger boobs, likes blowjobs, etc. Calvin is disgusted and refuses. Calvin eventually resorts to rewriting Ruby to obey him and be sexier in an attempt to stop her from leaving him, which is incredibly disturbing and plays off like a rape scene, as she's moving against her will and clearly terrified. Calvin realizes [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone how low he's sunk]] and permanently frees Ruby from his control.
* ProperTightsWithASkirt: Often shows up in Ruby's outfit.
* PygmalionPlot: Literally. Thinking about ''Pygmalion'' is what inspired Zoe Kazan's story.
* RealityWritingBook
* RewritingReality: Calvin writes about a beautiful woman who comes to life. He finds that anything he writes about her affects her.
* RomComJob: He is a writer, she is a painter.
* RunningGag:
** Calvin's boy dog pees like a girl.
** When people refer to Calvin as a "genius", he corrects them. PlayedForDrama in the film's climax.
* SecondaryCharacterTitle: The titular Ruby Sparks is the [[PygmalionPlot literal manifestation]] of the girl of TheHero's dreams.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Depressed and cultured writer Calvin and his gym-addict brother Harry.
* SexyShirtSwitch: The first morning Calvin sees Ruby in his kitchen, she wears a shirt of his.
* ShoutOut:
** Calvin: "I started seeing her this morning. It's like that movie ''Theatre/{{Harvey}}''.
** Several to Creator/BillyWilder movies and possibly one to ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''. Alia Shawkat plays a girl named Mabel. In ''Arrested Development'', her character was called Maeby.
* TheShrink: Of the helpful type.
* TomatoInTheMirror: Calvin keeps it a secret that Ruby was a fictional character who came to life. When she finds out, it is not pretty.
* TwoPersonPoolParty: Astoundingly, the host has the gall to [[spoiler:try to start one of these while an actual party that he's hosting is in progress. ''With'' the girlfriend of one of his guests, no less]].
* UnreliableNarrator: Calvin, certainly in regards to Lila.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Calvin spends the majority of the film being self-absorbed and expecting the relationship to revolve around him. Once Ruby starts expressing the desire for space and her own friends [[spoiler: Calvin attempts to start re-writing her into someone more dependent on him.]]. And it's not just Ruby, either: he spends the entire time visiting his mother's house sulking and writing and obviously dislikes his mom's boyfriend.
* WhamLine: For Ruby, anyway. [[spoiler: "You're not real. I made you up."]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Lila calls Calvin out on how he ''actually'' treated her in their relationship, as opposed to how Calvin views it.
* WritersBlock: Calvin suffers from it.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: Discussed by Calvin's brother in-universe as the proper way of writing.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Calvin brother's opinion about his lacking love life at the start of the movie.
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