Ruby Sparks is a frothy, thoughtful take on the Pygmalion/Living Doll genre. A dream made flesh, the title character springs from the imagination of Calvin (the always fascinating Paul Dano), a wunderkind novelist. Romance with Ruby (Zoe Kazan) brightens Calvin's lonely life (her wardrobe brings a splash of magenta to his blank page of a house), but since whatever he writes about Ruby actually happens to her, Calvin's caprices can cross the line into cruelty. Inevitably, his creation develops a will of her own, presenting Calvin with a dilemma: tighten the reins or relinquish control. There are multiple yins and yangs at work: Kazan wrote the comedy for herself and Dano (her real-life boyfriend); it's directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine); and an echo subplot involves Calvin's mother (Annette Bening) and her transformative relationship with her second husband (Antonio Banderas — who wouldn't be transformed?).