Film of the week - Ruby Sparks (15)

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Art imitates life imitates art in this delightfully offbeat romantic comedy, which ponders if the man or woman of your dreams is exactly that: a fantastical creation.

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) wrote his first novel at the age of 19.

The book was embraced by critics as a modern masterpiece and he has coasted along on the adulation, unable to find the words for a follow-up, or a girl who loves him and not his celebrity.

During a regular visit to psychiatrist Dr Rosenthal (Elliott Gould), Calvin confides that a beautiful girl is haunting his dreams and the shrink suggests that it may be therapeutic to commit these nocturnal imaginings to paper.

So to cure his writer’s block, Calvin follows Dr Rosenthal’s guidance and churns out volumes about the mystery girl.

Miraculously, Ruby (Zoe Kazan) manifests in Calvin’s apartment.

“It’s like that movie Harvey, except she’s not a giant rabbit,” Calvin tells his incredulous brother, Harry (Chris Messina).

She is blissfully unaware that she was once a figment of Calvin’s feverish imagination and as romantic bonds strengthen between the couple, Harry’s initial enthusiasm mellows into fraternal concern.

Dano is endearing as the introverted scribe crippled by success, and Kazan is luminous, staring wide-eyed into the camera with an irresistible twinkle in her eye.