“Lars and the Real Girl”

While introducing this column and its intent, I mentioned the importance of keeping an open mind while watching classic movies. This week’s movie, “Lars and The Real Girl,” is definitely going to be a time when you need to remember this mantra.

  This movie was introduced to me by my high school English teacher. When she first told me about it, albeit, I was less then excited to watch it. In 99% of cases, the words “love story” and “Ryan Gosling” are all it takes for me to become disinterested in a movie. Knowing me and my personal style however, she assured me that I would not be disappointed with this film. Boy, was she right.

  First off, let’s address the elephant in the room, cause I know it is on all of your minds. Yes, this is a movie about a man who falls in love with a sex doll. Campy, I know, but hear me out.

  Lars Lindstrom, played by Ryan Gosling, is a man in his late 20’s who suffers from extreme delusions. Living in the garage to his brother’s house, Lars goes through the motions of everyday life as an outsider. He holds a job, takes care of himself, and even has some casual acquaintances he interacts with regularly.

  One day while at work, Lars is introduced by a coworker, to a website that sells life sized, highly realistic (if you know what I mean) sex dolls. Lars, as part of his delusion decides to buys one, not for sex, but rather for companionship. He names her Bianca, dresses her, feeds her, talks to her, and creates an entire life story for her. The back-story even includes facts about her Danish and Brazilian heritage, and an explanation as to why she is confined to a wheelchair.

  Living in a small, somewhat conservation town, news travels fast about Lars’s new “girlfriend.” Surprisingly though, instead of the close minded reaction the viewer expects from such a place, everyone in the town is not only accepting of Lars’s new delusion, they bend over backwards to embrace Bianca in an effort to support Lars.

  This element of community support is what I think makes it such a memorable and remarkable movie. The emotions the supporting characters convey are no doubt a testament to the amazing acting chops this cast has to offer. Emily Mortimer, in all her wonderful squeakiness, is key to this movies watch-ability, as well as Paul Schneider’s portrayal of Lars’s brother, Gus.

  Another wonderfully weird thing about this movie is that by the end, I guarantee you will have had at least one moment when you stop and wonder how you can possibly feel so empathetic to a man who’s so deeply in love with a sex doll.

  Perhaps somewhere deep inside, we all long to be loved.  And if at some point we become desperate enough, we’ll look to find love in anything, even in the most unexpected places.

  Or perhaps, this is just a quality movie, with great actors and an original story that comes together for a fun and enjoyable two hours.

  Either way, “Lars and the Real Girl” is worth a shot. Watch it with a date, girls will love how adorable and awkward Ryan Gosling is, and guys will love that it’s not “The Notebook.”

If you’ve seen Lars and the Real Girl, or dare to watch it, let me know what you think in the comments.