I was supposed to watch “Ang Nawawala” but given that it was sharing space with another movie and wasn’t playing ’til waaay later, I was stuck watching “Ruby Sparks.”
Don’t get me wrong. I was interested in how this retelling of the Pygmalion myth was going to wind up as. After dear old Py got frisky with his sculpture, we’re just told that she came to life, married him and bore him a son, but we pretty much don’t know what else went on.
Did she really become her own person or was she still an extension of his psyche?
All retellings of the mythos pretty much speak of the lady as a finished product; Ruby Sparks explores that troublesome “what if” of an artist fiddling with his work, never quite satisfied, messing about with what was supposed to be a done deal.
No such thing as “the work takes a life of its own” in Ruby Sparks, eh? At least, I surmised.
So I sat there. And suffered the ordeal of seeing characters go all cutesy and sweet as today’s younguns aspire to be.
And sourly noted that writers are depicted not just as being control freaks that bend reality to suit themselves, but also intensely masturbatory in that they want to fuck a version of themselves (hey, Py was all about physicality, at least writers seem to prefer the mindfuck).
And I stewed over the fact that Zoe Kazan wrote herself as some boy’s fantasy and made it come to life. She wrote it, she acted it, she was it. She got Paul Dano to act the boy — and I thank the Lord it wasn’t Joseph Gordon-Levitt else I would totally hate her guts.
Dano’s a great sub tho. So maybe I do hate her guts, just a little.
Ah well. This particular story does reach the expected ending, but I have to admit that yes, there is some genius in the whole concept.
As much as possible, we do want to control our reality. We do want our dream lover to be fairly malleable and ridiculously suited to our needs. (And that goes for everyone who fantasizes, not just artists.)
And writers do tend to be mindfuckers with a healthy dose of narcissism and a penchant to recreate — if not literally create — their reality.
Damn you Ruby Sparks. Damn you.
It was originally a curse, you know. Pygmalion was cursed by Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, to fall in love with his ideal, because everything real that came his way he found wanting, lacking, cheap.
“No, you’re stubborn,” said
the laptop to the typewriter Ruby to Calvin.