Media Maven: “Lars and the Real Girl”

Media Maven: “Lars and the Real Girl”

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“Lars and the Real Girl”
Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Gardner, Patricia Clarkson, Nancy Beatty


No words could be found from the Webster Thesaurus to adequately describe “Lars and the Real Girl.” Quirky infers offbeat. Charming intimates cute and tidy. Pleasant suggests mildly entertaining- on the cusp of mundane.

“Lars and the Real Girl” is a film of meritorious proportions. It can best be described as a dramady; a film which is characteristically serious with comic elements interspersed. However, even to describe this film in those terms does not do it justice.

Why the search for the perfect words to describe this little indie film? Because Ryan Gosling as the lead character, Lars Lindstrom, gives an affecting portrayal of a young man who is a lost soul. This is a story about a person worthy of love and respect who is socially inept; confined by a stilted childhood.

This film is exceptional because parts of this story reflect real life. There are people we greet who can barely make eye contact. People who are pained to initiate small talk even with family members. Every day we see kindhearted beings who walk and breathe the same air but are “not on the same wave length” as everyone else. Many are content in their lives. Many do not know any other way to be. All are no less loved because of their inability to carry a conversation. At times carrying a conversation is even more painful than what they carry in their hearts.

In this film, Lars develops a relationship with a woman called Bianca. She is a missionary and trained in the medical field. She loves children and has come into Lars’ life via the Internet … and a huge crate. Never mind that Bianca is a blowup doll. To Lars, she is real. To Lars’ brother (Paul Schneider), she is an embarrassment. To Lars’ sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer), she is a cry for help. To the town doctor, played by the competent Patricia Clarkson, “Bianca is in town for a reason … (she) is a way to work something out (for Lars).”

To the town people, Bianca is accepted as a real person. She is the enigma whose presence teaches Lars he is loved and worthy of a full life within the community. Perhaps this premise is what draws the finest elements of humor and hope from this film. The commitment to accommodate Lars’ delusion and his journey to wellness by the town people is what is at the heart of this touching movie.

Kudos to Nancy Oliver who wrote the screenplay. And Kudos to Craig Gillespie who directed this film.

Rating: Four Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.