Ruby in Paradise [1993]

Genre: Drama, Romance
An uncommon gem of a film, this story of a young woman finding herself is a marvelous sleeper. Ashley Judd (Kiss the Girls) makes her film debut as Ruby, who moves to a Florida beach town and tries as best she can to earn a living. She begins working in a clothing store and starts dating men, but after some hard choices realizes she must first figure out who she is and what she wants out of life before she settles for something less than she deserves. Writer-director Victor Nunez (Ulee's Gold) tells his tale as an amiable slice of life story without forcing any of the emotion. And Judd gives an astounding performance as a young woman whose quiet inner strength allows her to grow and gain confidence in the person she wants to be. Avoiding all the possible clich├ęs and presenting a positive, realistic, and touching character portrait, Ruby in Paradise is a rare and worthwhile discovery. --Robert Lane

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