If you’re an actor looking for work, it helps to have a girlfriend who is a writer. So Paul Dano, whose dour, limburger face is matched only by a charisma that is the screen equivalent of road kill, is a lucky fellow. His roommate and offscreen squeeze, Zoe Kazan, has provided them both with the screenplay to Ruby Sparks, an engaging if lightweight romcom directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team that hit pay dirt with Little Miss Sunshine. This one passes the time pleasantly enough, but history isn’t likely to repeat itself. The script is breezy, but neither of the two leads have the heft or charm to carry an entire feature-length film—separately or together. I kept wondering, while glancing at my watch, what it would have been like with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, or James Wolk and anybody.
The morose Mr. Dano plays Calvin Weir-Fields, a shy novelist in horn-rimmed glasses who wrote a best-seller at 19 but now suffers painfully from writer’s block. Well, naturally; it’s ten years later, and he doesn’t even own a computer. So emotionally underdeveloped that his shrink (welcome back, Elliot Gould) gives him a fuzzy stuffed toy to cuddle with on the couch while he’s being analyzed, Calvin is awkward, socially inept and unable to get laid. So along comes a girl he calls Ruby Sparks, who falls in love with him faster than he can speed-dial his own cell phone. There’s just one snag. She exists only in his imagination.
The Wee Hours
“Wow, this is it, this view, New York City!” Michael Fassbender said after opening the door to the roof of the Standard, where the glass buildings lining the West Side bound forth from the meatpacking district toward midtown.
It was Friday night, and The Observer had just watched the New York Film Festival’s screening of Read More
THE SUN HAD NOT GONE DOWN outside the Gramercy Park Hotel when Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan started talking about their leather.
“It’s the fucking leather,” Ms. Mulligan said, touching Ms. Kazan’s slit-laden Valentino dress.
Ms. Kazan made a deep purring noise and knocked her pointed heels at the ground.
“You’ve never done that,” said Read More
Spring is finally in the air and, apparently, it brought a bunch of movies along for the ride. An overwhelming six titles hit theaters today, meaning as you slowly come out of your winter hibernation, Hollywood is encouraging you to sit in a dark room for two hours. As we do every Friday, here’s a Read More
Overhwlemed by choices? Here are the Observer’s top nine picks at Tribeca. Click on the slideshow to see what not to miss! And check back during the week for dispatches, updates and everything else from the festival.
At the premiere of The Day The Earth Stood Still, we were surprised to learn that Jon Hamm is kind of a geek and un-surprised to learn that Keanu Reeves is actually an alien.
We attended a party celebrating Jessica Cutler‘s (a.k.a. the Washingtonienne) wedding to a nice lawyer at the Tribeca Read More
The preview for Revolutionary Road, which opens Dec. 26, is one of those rare and wondrous pieces of promotion that tells you everything you need to know about a movie without really telling you anything at all. There’s beautiful Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, gleaming in their mid-’50s-era costumes, smoking, sighing, drinking, dancing, screaming, kissing Read More
When Zoe Kazan walked in to audition for the role of Maureen Grube in Sam Mendes’ adaptation of Revolutionary Road, the tragic Richards Yates novel about 1950s suburban angst, the casting director gave her a swift, appraising glance and declared her too young.
After all, Ms. Kazan—with her big hopeful blue Read More
At the New York Public Library’s Library Lions benefit on Monday, Nov. 3, most guests were eager to get home at a reasonable hour—since polls around the city were scheduled to open at 6 a.m. the next day, and as several guests pointed out, open bars at benefits tend to make it difficult to get Read More