Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2012
What guy hasn’t dreamed of the perfect girlfriend? One so innately copacetic that she complies with his every whim? Is that really desirable? Or frightening? In this ingenious flick from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) Calvin (Paul Dano) is a whiz kid who wrote a blockbuster novel a decade ago, and nothing since. He’s shy and asocial, but still desires female companionship, only, you know, without all the problems. He writes about his dream girl, whereupon she materializes (just how is wisely left unexplained). Ruby (Zoe Kazan, who also scripted) is smart, fun and a bit of a screwball. Others can see her, so he’s not nuts. So far it’s all as moronic as any rom-com, but then it shows its claws and takes us to some dark places where few others go. You see, he can control what she does simply by typing it. He nobly swears never to do this… until she starts to display an independence he didn’t imagine and begins to tire of him. One stark, riveting scene near the end borders on horror. This examination of the creative process and the mysteries of men and women is gentle, harsh, uplifting and wrenching. That’s a lot for one movie. Go see it.