Lars and the Real Girl Reviews
"The search for true love starts outside the box."
Lars and the Real Girl may sound, initially, like somewhat of a weird, maybe even disgusting film. Okay, so it is sort of weird, but not anything like what you would think. One thing it isn't though is disgusting. Instead, it's a beautiful piece of filmmaking from Gillespie. It's wonderfully acted by everyone involved, with amazing performances put in by Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, and Patricia Clarkson. The movie has tremendous heart from beginning to end.
Lars is a loner who lives in a garage, turned home, across from his brother, Gus, and Gus' wife, Karen. Lars shows up at their front door with extraordinary news one night. He met a girl, Bianca, on the Internet and she's over at his house right now. Gus and Karen couldn't be more excited. That is until Lars and Bianca show up later that night and they realize that Bianca is a sex doll. They soon find out Lars is delusional and truly believes that Bianca is real. When they take him and Bianca to the doctor to get "Bianca" checked out, the doctor tells them it's important for them to play along with Lars' delusion.
The plot may sound off-putting to some, but I can't stress how important it is to not worry about how weird it sounds going in. Beneath the plot, there's a heartwarmingly, true to life story being told. I won't lie and say that you will no doubt love this film, but if you give it a chance, there's a good chance you will. This is easily one of Gosling's best performances to date. He pulls off a role that you don't really think of him in, and he does it with such effectiveness. He's 100% believable as Lars.
I really ended up falling in love with this movie. It's slow, quiet, and doesn't try to create humor out of the doll, as much as you think it would. Still, it has moments that are extremely funny. It's a dramedy in every sense of the genre, and is one of the more effective ones I've seen in quite a long time at combining drama and comedy. In the end, this is a film I highly recommend. For Gosling fans, it's a must watch.
Ryan Gosling portrays the affable introvert Lars Lindstrom who is in near solitude for years; only to have a "friend" he's met on the internet come and visit. He introduces Bianca to his brother and his wife who are stunned at the fact that Bianca is in fact a life-size "love" doll that Lars is treating and representing as a human being.
The family doctor explains after meeting Bianca in Lars's presence that this is a delusion he's created for reasons unknown, but believes that the best thing is for them to do is go along with it. The subsequent events show the emotional journey for Lars and the people around him, and how Bianca is more helpful than one may think for Lars.
I know that sounds odd, but it's something you have to see to understand. The brilliant acting performance by Gosling really makes this film what it is. The vulnerability and delusional qualities Lars has are quite sad, but are also quite funny at times due to the context of the film, and the reactions of others to Bianca, the "Real Girl".
It's not really a comedy either. It might seem like some sort of lighthearted comedic tale, and, while there are some funny moments, this is actually a really sweet and serious drama. Not once did I really think twice about whether or not to buy into the movie and take it seriously. You pretty much have to, otherwise it doesn't work.
This is pretty easy to do, because it is just so well-written, directed, and acted. This is pretty much Ryan Gosling's show, but everyone does an excellent job here. The performances are just so sincere and genuine that you find yourself really caring about the people and what happens. I don't think I've seen a more genuine and honest love story like this in a long time.
Here's how well the movie works: by the end of it, I was actually legitimately shedding tears. I really couldn't help it. The film is just so heartfelt, emotional, and moving that it's basically unavoidable unless you are dead inside. Okay, that's maybe a bit too strong, but the movie is extremely effective, and I feel like I really learned a good lesson about tolerance, grief, and the human condition for having watched it.
Pathologically shy guy Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) introduces his new 'girlfriend' Bianca, a lifelike plastic doll, to his sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) and brother Gus (Paul Schneider). Somewhat concerned, they decide to call in sympathetic psychologist Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson) who advises that everyone play along with treating Bianca as a real person to try and get to the bottom of Lars' obvious mental condition.
Lars is a tragic character that Gosling imbues with a real fragile innocence. It's another marvellous and enigmatic performance from him. He keeps the audience at just the right distance. Never letting you in, but still maintaining a likeability. Lars is a character that could so easily be laughed at and ridiculed but it's testament to writer Nancy Oliver, director Craig Gillespie, the supporting cast of Mortimer, Schnieder and Clarkson, and particularly Gosling's lead in bringing the character - and his social trauma - so vividly to life. Instead of being a farcical film of cheap jokes, it becomes a touching exploration of mental health that's quite unlike anything you'll have seen before.
It's deliberately paced and some may even find it lethargic but I found it to be a highly original and deeply sensitive drama anchored by a marvellous central performance.
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.