RUBY IN PARADISE tells the story of a young Tennessee woman, Ruby, who follows her dreams to the Florida Panhandle. When she first comes to the panhandle, she struggles to find work because most businesses are closed in the fall of the year. A retail beach store soon hires her. Ruby is soon caught between two men who are interested in her–Ricky, the son of her employer, and Mike, who works at a nursery. Ruby keeps a journal and expresses her private thoughts out loud as she writes in the journal.
The film follows the seasons in Panama City, Florida, suggesting the ebb and flow of human life as the tide washes in and out. With exquisite cinematography and commendable acting by Ashley Judd, who plays Ruby, the movie nevertheless espouses an immoral lifestyle as Ruby has no qualms about going to bed with either of the men in her life. The film was a co-winner of the grand prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival and possesses a lyrical, poetical quality with its wind-swept Florida beaches and bright sunshine. Ruby’s final question sums up the movie: “Why are we so lonely and afraid? Can we ever know our own desires?” Of course, the Bible makes clear in I John 5:13 that “These things have been written…that you may know that you have eternal life.” How comforting to know that, unlike Ruby, the Christian has an answer to his questions.
(H, Ab, LL, NN, SS) Humanism; some anti-Christian comments; 11 obscenities & profanities; topless dancing in bar; and, repeated sex scenes in dream sequence--but nothing shown.