Lars and the Real Girl


Lars and the Real Girl

Critics Consensus

Lars and the Real Girl could've so easily been a one-joke movie. But the talented cast, a great script, and direction never condescends to its character or the audience.



Total Count: 137


Audience Score

User Ratings: 105,654
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Movie Info

Lars Lindstrom is a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of what is almost solitude, he invites Bianca, a friend he met on the internet to visit him. He introduces Bianca to his brother Gus and his wife Karen, and they are stunned. They don't know what to say to Lars or Bianca--because she is a life-size doll, not a real person and he is treating her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor Dagmar who explains this is a delusion he's created--for what reason she doesn't yet know but they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional journey for Lars and the people around him.

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Critic Reviews for Lars and the Real Girl

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (26)

  • The film is often very funny. The acting is first-class, especially Gosling, who never patronises his character.

    Jan 11, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Sweet and honest, but not much more.

    Mar 20, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • While the film pulls a few punches, its off-kilter sweetness is as inoffensive and likable as a tepid cup of cocoa.

    Feb 22, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Under Mr. Gillespie's admirably directed seriousness of tone, the performers, particularly Mr. Gosling, Ms. Mortimer, Mr. Schneider, Ms. Clarkson, Ms. Gardner and Mr. Reid, never miss a beat.

    Nov 15, 2007

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • ...we're surprised to find that it's possible to feel a real emotional attachment to an anatomically correct girl made of quality plastic.

    Nov 3, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Lars and the Real Girl remains suspended somewhere between perversity and pap, with only Gosling hinting at the mingling that might have been.

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for Lars and the Real Girl

  • Aug 10, 2017
    It's films like these that truly test the strength of your actors. It isn't every day that a man brings a "sex" doll to his home, pretend it's his girlfriend, and has the whole town going along with it. But with a great lead actor in Ryan Gosling, there's opportunity to produce a good whimsical drama with plenty of heart. Lars and the real Girl deals with an awkward man, who suffers from delusion and maybe even a little bit more mental health issues, and his "real" girlfriend who proceeded to change his life forever. With a plot like this, it's really difficult to get on board with the premise for a good bit in the film. The only thing that's keeping this film afloat is the performance of Ryan Gosling. The ability of him to make this relationship with a doll feel so real is absolutely impeccable. Gosling has always impressed when it comes to his acting choices, and this film may be his boldest to date. He didn't get nominated for an Oscar, but Lars is one of the most challenging roles he's taken on, and he's as good as he's ever been. I found the community effort of making the doll real to Lars to be particularly moving. I could have done with a more built out relationship with his brother, as I feel like there was a missed opportunity emotionally. However, overall this film is one of the most unique films you'll see, and Gosling's turn is one of particular importance. 7.9/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2014
    I simply enjoyed every minute of this American-Canadian comedy-drama written by Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie. It was fresh, unusual, deep and very emotional... somehow perfect ground for the thriving stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner and Patricia Clarkson. The story follows Lars (Gosling), a sweet yet quirky, socially inept young man, who develops an unusual romantic relationship with an anatomically correct sex doll, a "RealDoll" named Bianca. He lives with his older brother (Schneider) and his brother's wife (Mortimer) in his father's house, but he decides to have his room in the garage! The story is taking us slowly and building up with lots of love to show us how the rest of the small town grows to accept and welcome Bianca into the community for Lars' sake, not realizing that she would touch all of their lives in a profound way. I loved the screenplay which was recognized through the Academy Award nomination for "Best Writing (Original Screenplay)", while Gosling received a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy" and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role". Interested in sweet, innocent, grounded in reality, exceptional emotionally movie? Grab this one!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2013
    A brilliant and heartful little film starring Ryan Gosling who gives his most different and odd performance of his career. He plays a man named Lars who is a brutally awkward and anti-social loner. Gosling's little mannerisms are what make this performance so unique and memorable: from his odd way of blinking to his funny way of turning people down in conversations, it's an Oscar-worthy performance. One day, his co-worker introduces him to a website that sells life-sized sex dolls. He orders one and goes into a delusional state where he believes the doll (who he names Bianca) is his girlfriend who can talk like any other person. At first, like all the other characters in the film, I thought the presence of the doll was hilarious and of course extremely weird. As the film went on, I found myself getting so used to it (or should I say her?) being around, just like the characters in the movie did. I loved the entire film, and was not only highly entertained, but it also left me in a great mood.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2013
    This concept could have bombed in many ways. How do you compellingly film a relationship involving a synthetic, inanimate being? "Cast Away" did it with a volleyball, but the script didn't have to arrange Tom Hanks' character introducing Wilson to his coworkers and loved ones. Absurdity and compassion mix in just the right portions here, gently showing examples on how to be a person. The story progression is tidy, but out of necessity, not laziness or shallowness. The characters have depth and intrigue and are all likeable. I wasn't at all ready to leave any of them.
    Matthew S Super Reviewer

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