Zoe Kazan On Critiquing The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Trope In “Ruby Sparks”

By: Jessica Wakeman / July 19, 2012

“Everybody is setting out to write a full character. It’s just that some people are limited in their imagination of a girl. [A character in “Ruby Sparks” named] Cal’s brother says that in the film: “You’ve written a girl, not a person.” I think defining a girl and making her lovable because of her music taste or because she wears cute clothes is a really superficial way of looking at women. I did want to address that. … I am definitely not interested in adding to the genre of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I’m very happy to have this movie read as a critique of that, if that’s how you want to read it. It’s not how I wrote it — that was not my primary goal. But I really, really think it’s dangerous to reduce a person to an idea.”

I had no opinion on Zoe Kazan before I saw a screening of her new movie “Ruby Sparks” last week but now I’m in love — in loooooove — with the actress and screenwriter. “Ruby Sparks” is the thinking woman’s summer must-see film for sure. Without giving too much of the plot away, it is about a writer named Calvin (played by Kazan’s real-life boyfriend Paul Dano) who pens a novel about a lovely young woman named Ruby, who magically appears in real life. “Ruby Sparks” fantastically critiques the manic pixie dream girl trope in way that’s satirical but not in-your-face. I love what Zoe Kazan says in this interview here, especially in the full context of the interview where she talks about how reducing a person to an idea is dangerous to a relationship, as well as a film. [Huffington Post]