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Lars and the Real Girl is either going to be stupid and unrealistic OR a sweet but strange, uplifting movie. It will depend who you’re talking to.
The film follows socially awkward and hugely shy Lars (Ryan Gosling) as he begins an unconventional relationship – to say the least – with a sex doll called Bianca. We are first introduced to Lars as a very quiet but seemingly sweet person who unfortunately would rather run off down the street than actually engage in conversation with someone (which he does). He lives an isolated existence in an annexe opposite older brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer), both at a loss of how to help him. It is clear that even hugging his own family is painful for poor Lars as he desperately tries to avoid human interaction.
And so enter Bianca (or rather, enter the courier driver who’s delivering her).
Now it is important to note that Lars isn’t interested in sex with Bianca, at all. That never even comes into it and Lars simply talks to her as though she’s real, pushing her around in a wheelchair and whispering to her about local events and news or what she wants for dinner.
What follows is a strange little film, very funny in places, extremely uplifting in its entirety but also sad as we explore the world of someone who suffers such crippling shyness and social ineptness. It’s a film where you need to empathise, not scoff. Essentially there is a big part of the story that says a lot about human kindness, about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and showing them compassion and love, no matter how strange they may be acting and this is exactly what Lars’ family and friends do within the Bianca Situation (not Bonny!) and it is heart warming to watch.
In my opinion, Lars and the Real Girl is a really nice movie, with a great sentiment. It makes the viewer think a little about life and people and the effect of mental conditions. It is of course a tad unrealistic in places, but the overall sentiment and message is absolutely true to real life. To make it even better Ryan Gosling is incredible in his role and really brings the story to life. I know everyone loves him and wants his babies anyway, but I’ve never seen him in a film that is as memorable as this one. Without his sterling performance and his complete likability as Lars the film wouldn’t have been half the triumph that it is. It is a strange film that won’t be for everyone, but Lars is so unassuming and sweet that it’s impossible not to like him – and most of this is down to Gosling, his facial expressions and the way he holds himself. He’s absolutely fantastic and though all the cast were very good and the writing was great, I still believe it is his performance that makes this the special treat it is.
Highly recommend! (if it sounds like your cup of tea)