Lars And The Real Girl

Lars And The Real Girl


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a lonely, shy and socially inept man living in a small American town. Lars lives with his brother Gus and his pregnant wife Karin in a house they both inherited from their late father.

He finds it difficult to relate and interact with his family, his co-workers or even friends he met through the local church he attends regularly. Out of the blue one day during a rare visit for dinner Lars announces to both Gus and Karin that he met someone on the internet, both are a little wary at first but welcome a change in Lars' demeanour so are both intrigued and happy for him.

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Enter Bianca, a Brazilian/Danish wheelchair-using missionary who happens to be a life-like doll ordered from an adult website. Naturally both are concerned about Lars mental health and insist he visit the doctor but as time goes on Gus and Karin as well as the community learn to accept Lars and his new doll. The film could be interpreted as a social commentary on society today, as the story deals with identity and social acceptance. In the wrong hands this could have become a silly-sex comedy given its slightly absurd concept but somehow director Craig Gillespie manages to deliver a smart, funny, heartfelt and deeply satisfying comedy with a fairytale vibe.

The film never insults its audience even when Lars' circumstances with Bianca become increasingly odd. At no point does the film ever mock Lars, people may point, but because he's loved amongst all the community they learn to embrace Bianca, and they follow the "if-he's-happy-then-happy-for-him" motto.

Turning its back on cheap laughs the film contains bountiful amounts of humanity, that are never sickly sweet - Gillespie pulls it altogether very tastefully. Lars And The Real Girl turns out to be a gentle comedy drama that I found quite doll-lightful!

Reviewed on: 02 Sep 2008
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A quiet young man falls in love with a woman who is perfect in every way - except that she's inflatable.
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Read more Lars And The Real Girl reviews:

Anton Bitel ****1/2

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Nancy Oliver

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner, Patricia Clarkson, Nancy Beatty, RD Reid, Joe Bostick, Liz Gordon, Nicky Guadagni, Doug Lennox, Karen Robinson, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Billy Parrott, Sally Cahill

Year: 2007

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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