My rating: 7
IMDB rating: 7.4
After my dry spell this weekend, I kick off this week with a lovely find! Having previously read one or two things about this film, I finally just now got around to watching it. This film is so relevant, not only in terms of relationships, but also for the coming-of-age genre.
What do I mean by this? Calvin, who is coined a boy-genius, after the publication of his first novel that is said to be the modern American classic, needs to learn a very important thing about relationships before he can love the girl of his dreams… But as is the norm in these films (as is also true in real life) Calvin learns that it is himself that he must let go off.
Creating Ruby from his mind, is in fact like dating himself. He creates her 100% in his perfect woman’s image. In other words, what she brings to the relationship is exactly what he brings to the relationship. The fact that she also does not make any of the decisions herself, really, causes her to become restless. The same thing more or less happens to someone who is forced into behaving a certain way by the one they love. It will be fine for the most part, but one day there will be something reminding you of yourself.
This reminder of the self is key in the relationship between Ruby and Calvin, because Calvin who is a very unique human being, often finds himself wanting to mould someone to love him. He has not yet learned that it is exactly the uniqueness of your partner that make two people compatible. But Calvin feels threatened each time that Ruby explores herself, rather than embracing her ‘otherness’ he tries to smother it.
I think this is a very important lesson for any relationship. We must learn to embrace the fact that we are different from one another. ‘Creating’ someone in your own image, is to morph them into an unnatural form that places a lot of pressure on the relationship. To me, this is the valuable lesson that this movie is trying to teach; that to be able to love, we must be able to leave ourselves behind.
People often say that the exact thing that irritates us in others are the thing that irritates us most about ourselves. The scene where Calvin is showing Ruby his control over her by having her speak French, clapping her fingers, and most disturbingly by repeating the words that he most dreads: ‘you are a genius’; by hearing those words from her mouth opens up to him a whole new understanding of himself. He finally recognises that it is his selfishness that drove her away.
A lovely movie of romance, self-love, uniqueness and commitment!
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