i noticed someone tried to make a comparison between "lars and the real girl" and "love object" which is a more obscure horror-movie made in 2003. what drives me into finally spending the time to see it after so many years is because of an odd incident happened in switzerland: a 25-year-old guy got caught from having sex with his dog, and he was brought to the court wearing the collar of his dog, vowing his undying faithful love to the dog (which also happens to be a HE.) the guy insisted that he did nothing wrong, consensual affair since he did a series of courtships to it. still, he was sentenced to jail. my feeling was, the guy should be acquitted. ok, whether he should be sentenced is not an issue to discuss here, but my point is, you see nowadays lots of people treat their pets as if they were their own children meanwhile they're reluctant to produce any seed of their own. would you call them problematic? another question would be WHY! what is the emotional obstacle out there that drives people into bestowing their most precious affections to THINGS(anything non-human) instead of real human? is it safer to love an inanimate thing which cannot respond back so we could always live within an illusion of happiness without actually running the risk to have our hearts damaged?
lars in this movie falls in love with a sex doll he orders from internet, and he treats this sex doll romantically while there's no sex involved in this "relationship." stricken by this sudden change, lars' family and friends all open their hearts to this inanimate doll as if she were real human. it turns out that the sex-doll has more active social life within the community than withdrawn lars. (honestly, that part is not very believable, but it's a movie which is based on a larger-than-life fictional idea). at last, lars lets the sex doll die as he gradually grows more and more fond of his female coleague.
my first wonder would be, in childhood, lots of little girls have imaginary friends, quite often, the imaginary friends are their dolls purchased by the parents. we indulge little kids on behaving this way, patiently waiting for the kids to grow out of this oddity by participating as part of the child's act-play. particularly for young female kids. but for male kids, they're deprived of such luxury due to the fright of effemination. thus, when boys grow up, some of them tend to find some obedient girlfriend to compensate this lack of "dolly friend" in childhood. or if they're too socially inadequate, they would simply purchase a sex-doll online as some substitute girlfriend like lars. that is the gender issue here. also, you don't see stories about woman having a male-doll as boyfriend that often in cinematic pop culture, right? usually, just dysfunctional adult-woman has female-doll as imaginary friend, such as that 2005 horror-movie may.
my second wonder would be, why we consider it abnormal (or delusional, according to the movie) when an adult does something guileless like that (dating the sex doll or falling in love with a dog)? the simple answer would be, because he's adult, he ain't supposed to do that! there's a basic psychological term called regression, a wish to retreat into childhood when a person cannot handle the stress in his present stage of life. in my opinion, in this decade, people all suffer from the want of regression, just take a look at the blurred demarcation between adult and child clothings, the popularity of adults having pets as child-substitutes...but we all seek harmless camouflage for ourselves to get away with what we do in life as long as it casts no harm to others before the issue of sex infiltrates into the picture and gives everything more irrevocable layers of complexity because fetishized sex invites the disturbing mental image of miscellaneous intercourse. the phobia of hybridity is still, in some way, deep rooted within people's mindset despite its ticklish sensations. without sex, it would be forgivable indulgement of regression; with sex, it would become a condemnable gesture of transgression!
back to the comparison between "lars and the real girl" and "love object", the former is a childlike representation of infantile regression; the latter is a violatile simulcrum of malicious transgression (if you cannot have the woman you desire, order a doll which resembles her then tears her apart in pieces)...lars and the real girl is about an adult-boy's journey of ridding off his imaginary friend and fledging into a wholesome adulthood where he become tangible and capable of dealing with real intimacy.
as for which one is more interesting? it depends on your mood. sometimes i crave for regression but there're also times when i seek surrogate transgression, intensified sexuality relished in extreme circumstances of life.