Rated R, 104 mins
Longtime music video directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris broke into feature films with the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine
(2006), and six years later they've come across with a follow-up, an engaging romantic fantasy scripted by actress Zoe Kazan. Paul Dano stars as one of those blocked novelists that turn up in movies—they always insist on using a manual typewriter, because keys striking ink onto paper looks so good onscreen—and Kazan is the title character, a fictional dream girl who steps off the writer's pages into real life to charm him and his family. When the moody novelist discovers he can manipulate Ruby's personality by writing more about her, the fantasy conceit broadens as in a Woody Allen movie, and this becomes a story about controlling lovers. Kazan carries the film with a disarmingly sweet performance; the supporting cast includes Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould.