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The 25 Best Movies Of Summer 2012

10. Ruby Sparks

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Stars: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Elliot Gould, Annette Benning, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Deborah Ann Woll, Aasif Mandvi

Take our advice: Whenever Ruby Sparks hits the DVD/Blu-ray market, pick up a copy, schedule a home video night with your preferred chick, and be prepared to receive cool points a-plenty from your fairer-sexed partner. Perhaps even some post-movie loving as a reward for displaying such quality taste in cinema.

What's truly special about the second feature film from husband-and-wife directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) is, their sharp directing aside, the wonderful script from star Zoe Kazan. Blending magical-realism with touching romance, Kazan's screenplay brilliantly develops a romance from the seemingly impossible.

The actress' real-life boyfriend, the perennially underrated Paul Dano, gives a strong leading man performance as a struggling novelist who inexplicably wills a fictional dream girl (Kazan) into existence and falls in love with her. Ruby Sparks works on several levels concurrently: It's a genuinely sweet comedy, a heart-tugging love story, and a Twilight Zone-esque look at human connection in a heightened reality. Don't be surprised if it holds up as the year's best romantic comedy come late December.

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