Lars and the Real Girl- Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a film, and I am going through withdrawals, so I thought I’d whip out my thoughts on my latest viewing, Lars and the Real Girl.


I remember hearing about this movie when it was out in theaters back in October, and again when it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay, but I somehow missed it. So, Netflix provided me with yet another reason to love those little red envelopes of love (sidenote: did you know red envelopes are also a traditional way to give money in Chinese culture?)– a second chance.

When explaining the plot of the movie as “a guy who has a life-size  doll as his girlfriend,” it’s pretty easy to assume it is a cheesy, low-blow joke movie of the “Dumb and Dumber” genre. But that is far from the case. “Lars and the Real Girl” is so great because while it runs the risk of being over the top, the writer succeeds in making a beautiful, sweet film instead. That’s talent.

Ryan Gosling plays Lars, who lives in the garage of the house he shares with his brother and pregnant sister-in-law. He’s a little odd- anti-social and maybe obsessive compulsive. He hates to be touched, and isn’t the most social guy. But then he gets a girlfriend, sort of.

Gosling is one of the few actors who could have really made this role sing. He’s endearing in a deer-in-headlights sort of way. It’s perfect for Lars.

The magic of this movie is the way an entire universe is created. Where a town loves Lars so much that they go along with his delusion. And learn something along the way. It’s a really smart film.

At times, the interactions with the doll reminded me of when I was a kid and barbies had their own world. I really believed they were real, for a while. And maybe that’s why this film is so great. We are right back where we were when we were six- anything’s possible.


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