He Loves Me

Directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are finally returning to the big screen for the first time since 2006′s Little Miss Sunshine with one of the summer’s most anticipated indie releases – the Zoe Kazan-penned Ruby Sparks. Also starring Kazan, the film centers on Paul Dano‘s character, a once-successful young author who is felled by some intense writer’s block and a dismal love life. When he starts writing about a new character, Ruby, Calvin’s spark comes back – but everything is thrown into disarray when he discovers Ruby (Kazan) in his apartment – his creation brought to life. Is it love? Magic? Or both?

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Zoe Kazan‘s feature writing debut, Ruby Sparks, already has enough going for it that I’ll forgive its new name change – to Ruby from its working title, He Loves Me, which feels a bit less movie-of-the-week and a touch more substantial. Title issues aside, Kazan’s first foray into screenwriting sees the return of directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (helming their first feature since 2006′s Little Miss Sunshine), is marked by a talented cast (Paul Dano, Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll), and comes with a plotline that’s a thought-provoking twist on the romantic comedy. So why the name switcheroo? Well, it’s either something that’s far too-on-the-nose, or it’s meant to denote the full name of Kazan’s character, who is so far known to be just “Ruby.” But that on-the-nose? It could just mean that she sparks something, forming the entire basis of the film. And what does she spark? Only a little literary inspiration and her entire existence.

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Good news for people who like backlashing against things that get popular; Fox Searchlight has signed Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to make their first film since their breakthrough indie Little Miss Sunshine made a bunch of money and helped launch Steve Carell and Paul Dano’s film careers back in 2006. This new project, called He Loves Me, is being written by and will star Zoe Kazan. Her real life beau, Dano, will re-team with the Sunshine directors to star as the male lead. Also, there have been some rumblings that Jeff Bridges is being looked at to play another role. There’s yet to be any word on what this one will be about, but it has to be seen as a get for Fox Searchlight regardless. It’s been five years since Dayton and Faris made Little Miss Sunshine, and they haven’t been able to successfully get another project together since. The last time Searchlight took a chance on this duo there was money to be made, press to be generated, and Oscar nominations to be had. With that amount of big expectations behind it, He Loves Me is bound to be a project worth keeping our peepers on going forward. [Deadline Placitas]

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