Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Movie: Lars and the Real Girl

Movie Release Date: October 12, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
Genre: Dramedy
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson

Lars and the Real Girl is an Oscar nominated quirky indie comedy about a painfully shy man named Lars, who brings home a girlfriend one day much to the surprise of his family. The girlfriend, named Bianca, turns out to be a life-sized doll made out of silicon, and the movie is about his family's and their small town's reaction to this interesting development in his life. Instead of being outcast as the weirdo creep with a sex doll, the town begins to embrace Bianca, treating her as a real person, as Lars does. Whoever said love has to be 2-sided?

This is a really sweet comedy that is interesting because of it's fantasy-meets-real-life element. What I mean by that is, it's a complete fantasy to have a whole town embrace an essentially socially awkward young man, and play along with his delusion that his internet-order doll is real. I hardly think this would happen in real life; Lars would be carried away to a mental institution in the first 15 minutes of the film (which almost happens, if left up to his bewildered brother Gus). So in that sense, the movie is almost like a fairy tale, except it's set in a wintry, small Northern town and no one is made up or overly pretty (or at all, actually) or dressed in fancy frocks.

What makes the movie work is that it's really well written, really original, and really well acted. It's all about these characters, most specifically the development of Lars's character and his journey of overcoming his anti-socialness through his relationship with Bianca. There's funny dialogue, but the humor comes from the interactions all of the characters have as they try to accept Lars and Bianca. I was most touched by the fact that his family (especially his lovely sister-in-law) and the town wholeheartedly rallies around Lars, because he is one of their own, no matter how different he may be. It's really a story about love, communication, and hope.

Grade: A-


Julia Park said...

I still have to see it! :D

Anonymous said...

i give it a solid B

Anonymous said...

the doll was creepy...

sang said...

Let's go watch it.