Movie Title: Lars and the Real Girl
Date Released: September 16th, 2007 – Toronto International Film Festival
Date Seen: January 1st, 2013
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A movie about a very introverted shy 27 year old man, Lars (Ryan Gosling), who starts a relationship with a doll he orders from the internet. We see how his family and “friends” come to terms with Lars and Bianca’s relationship, and how he, and the others, grow from it.
The standouts in this movie are Ryan Gosling as the titular character, and Emily Mortimer as Karin, his sister in law. I love the indie side of Ryan Gosling, and I really liked him in this. He played the shy, hating to be touched, introverted, delusional guy very well. I especially liked his aversion to touching – considering that I have one. The nice push away when someone reaches out to touch you, while trying to avoid being too rude, I know it all too well. I also loved the character of Karin. She worries so much about Lars and just wants to see that he is alright – if that’s with a blow up doll, that’s how it is. The beauty of this movie is watching how the people in the town, from family members, church members, and just other people deal with Bianca. You see them going from finding it weird, to accepting it, to really working with the delusion he has going on. It’s also interesting to watch how, in particular, Karin and Gus deal with Lars’ “sickness”. Karin is pretty accepting from the get go and just wants to do anything she can to help him. Gus is slower at accepting, and researches it on his own terms, trying to find as much as possible about the delusional disorder before he really starts to accept the delusion and play into it as well.
He makes a couple of subtly depressing comments if you really think about it. When the church lady, Mrs. Gruner, hands Bianca the flowers, Lars whispers to Bianca “Isn’t that neat? They’re not real so they last forever.” This is conveniently exactly what Lars needs – someone to love him forever and for that he has Bianca. Granted over the course of the movie we see Lars change, and thus his need for Bianca change, but still. There’s some great words of wisdom as well, from supporting characters. My personal favorite was “That’s what people do when tragedy strikes. They come over and sit.”
I enjoyed this movie as a one time watch – the plot went a direction that I could sense was coming, but it wasn’t very obvious. Once you get to know Lars and see him start to change you can sense what’s going to have to happen. You will find yourself getting upset towards the end of the movie, something that you wouldn’t have expected to happen at the beginning. Like the townspeople, you become attached to Bianca as well, so when tragedy strikes, you are just as upset as they are. I liked that the movie made me feel this way – however, it does have very limited rewatchability. I’m glad I watched it, but now will never feel the need to sit and watch it again, which makes it lose points in my book.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
There’s an overview here, I wouldn’t really call it a synopsis. But it gives you the gist of what went down.
If you’re a fan of indie Ryan Gosling, or think the premise is interesting, or just like watching how people change and adapt to situations, give it a watch.