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Ruby Sparks [2012] [R] - 5.3.7



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A lonely novelist (Paul Dano) suffers from writer's block after his early success. Therapy does no good, so he dreams of the perfect woman, writes her into a short story, and she then appears as a real person (Zoe Kazan), as if by magic. But the whole thing may be too good to be true. Also with Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan and Elliott Gould. Directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - In a club scene, a woman tells her boyfriend that she is wearing no panties, she pulls panties out of her bra, places them between her teeth and motions that they should leave the club; sex is implied and the scene ends.
 A bare-chested man standing in a swimming pool asks a younger woman to come into the water, she strips to her bra and panties, her boyfriend appears and shouts at her telling her to never have sex with another man or do anything that would cause a man to think about doing so. At a café, a woman asks an author if he often meets women in the afternoon for sex; he jumps back saying, "I just want to talk" when another woman walks up and introduces herself as the man's girlfriend, causing the other woman to leave quickly. A woman chants that she loves her boyfriend's nose, mouth, butt and belly as he watches her hop on one foot (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A man confronts his brother about a lack of dating and sex life; he demands to know several times in one conversation if the brother "is getting laid," "ever gets booty," "ever wants to have sex again and why not." We hear that a woman was expelled from college for sexual activity with at least one and probably two of her professors. A man tells his brother that in a real relationship, one's partner might leave one at any moment and no one can control that. A man at a family dinner announces that his mother used to paint pictures of sexy corn plants; she explains that she painted them in sexual positions and her first husband would not have approved. A man says that he is in love with a fictional character that appears real. Women's underwear begins to show up in a man's apartment causing his visiting sister-in-law to tell him to throw the filthy things away; the man maintains that his dog brings them in from the trash.
 Several bedroom scenes include a man wearing a T-shirt and long shorts with a woman wearing a floor-length gown that reveals bare shoulders and arms; they get into bed and lie side-by-side under a blanket. A woman wearing only a buttoned, long-sleeved man's shirt and panties (we see her bare legs) appears in a man's kitchen. At parties, women wear backless dresses with deeply cut necklines that show a little cleavage. A woman changes from street clothes into a nightgown and we see a tight close-up of her back, bare shoulders and buttocks/backs of thighs and skimpy panties. Women at a pool party wear bikinis that reveal cleavage, bare abdomens, backs and legs; some men are seen bare-chested and wearing swim trunks. A woman wearing a loose-skirted dress jumps into a swimming pool, revealing full legs and panties. A woman's boyfriend throws her over his back and we see a close-up of her buttocks covered by tights. A woman wears shorts that reveal most of her bare legs in several scenes.
 Couples kiss briefly in several scenes.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man and a woman watch a zombie movie while drinking (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and we briefly see fake blood gushing onto a floor, faces ripped off to reveal alien faces, arms cut off with chainsaws and gushing blood and dead bodies on another floor (people in the film scream). At an arcade, a woman fires a mock gun that is part of a pinball machine and it makes an electronic noise.
 A woman shouts in French, snaps her fingers and screams, dances, cries and bounces back from an invisible force field; she hops violently on one foot until she falls down, unconscious, a man touches her, she awakens, and she runs to lock herself in a bedroom. A woman finds her boyfriend at a café with another woman (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), argues with the man and he chases her after she throws a glass of water in his face; they argue loudly when he catches her, he throws her over his shoulder and walks home. A man argues with his stepfather about accepting a handcrafted chair form the older man; the chair back comes to a sharp point and looks dangerous, but the younger man accepts it. A man argues loudly with his brother throughout the film. A man argues with a woman constantly and he changes her behavior by writing what he wants her to do on his typewriter.
 A man becomes frightened when a woman appears in his apartment out of thin air; he runs away to lock himself in a bathroom and he looks scared in several scenes with her. When a man finds that a woman has left, he collapses in tears, falling asleep on a hallway floor until the evening.
 Several people say that a male dog "pees like a girl." A man says that he will puke. A man says that he has to "pee" and mentions urinating several times. A dog sits in a bedroom where he has apparently chewed up books, shoes and clothing; the dog's human companion looks at the scene, groans and throws himself on the living room couch.
 We see a large bite mark on the side of a woman's neck, without an explanation and without comment from anyone. A man walks his dog in the park and we see a stream of urine when the dog squats to urinate.

PROFANITY 7 - 22 F-words, 9 sexual references, 6 anatomical terms, 15 scatological terms, 5 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut up), name-calling (crazy, stupid, idiot, insane, weirdo, schmuck, Wonder Boy, freak, dilettante, heartless [sexual reference deleted], weirdo), stereotypical references to writers, loners, men, women, families, hippies, fans of authors, publishers, control freaks, 1 religious profanity, 9 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - People pass around and smoke a marijuana cigarette (one man refuses it) at a family dinner, a man rises from his chair and falls on his face under the influence of marijuana and wine (he is unharmed), a woman asks two men if they went outside to get stoned and all three of them drink wine with dinner, and a man tells another man that a relationship does not work like Prozac. Several men and women drink wine and cocktails at a reception, a man slurs his words and sways from drunkenness, a man stands in a swimming pool and drinks champagne, we hear that a woman used to date an alcoholic, two men drink beer at a cookout, a man and a woman drink liquor shots while watching a movie, many men and women drink alcohol at a house party, a man cooks while standing beside an open beer bottle and sealed wine bottle (he does not drink), two men drink beer from bottles and cocktails from glasses in two bar/restaurant scenes, and men and women drink wine.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, relationships, family, writing, loners, mental illness and therapy, fantasy, drugs and alcohol, control issues, oppression.

MESSAGE - Love and magic are real.

Special Keywords: S5 - V3 - P7 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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