Blending the make-your-own-girlfriend fantasy of Weird Science, the what-you-write-comes-true aspect of Delirious, and a generous helping of Manic Pixie Dream Girl into a bittersweet cocktail, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's long-awaited follow-up to Little Miss Sunshine seems to be the ultimate in wish fulfillment for the self-perceived sensitive, lonely, indie dude. Written by screenwriting scion Zoe Kazan (who also stars as the twee, titular ingenue), the film centers on Paul Dano's Calvin, a struggling writer with all the gangling social awkwardness implicit in Paul Dano playing anything. Ailing from writer's block, Calvin eventually invents a free-spirited protagonist to get his writing flowing again, but is surprised when, oh my, his quirky little muse spontaneously materializes as a REAL GIRL he can continue to sculpt through additional chapters of his novel. Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould also appear, and Antonio Banderas puts glasses on a dog, which might just be the most hackneyed element of the whole thing. Come on, Zorro, we've seen glasses placed on a dog before. We have the internet. We've obviously searched for that, and laughed because it's hilarious.
I fear I already sense the third-act realization of needing to let her go to give his book, and her, the ending they deserve. Couldn't we have just remade Mannequin in an American Apparel instead?