Last Featured: Sept. 1, 2014
The odds were against Lars and the Real Girl from the start, if only for its absurd premise: the film follows a troubled man who falls in love with an anatomically correct, life-sized doll.
The odds were against Lars and the Real Girl from the start, if only for its absurd premise: the film follows a troubled man who falls in love with an anatomically correct, life-sized doll. In less skilled hands, this film would have been a tawdry denizen of some lesser category of filmmaking. Fortunately, director Craig Gillespie and co. were more than up to the task, and the film takes its place among the indie classics.
Ryan Gosling plays Lars, a troubled young man who only becomes more reclusive with time. We realize implicitly that when love comes into his life, it is part of a healing process. It doesn’t matter that his love, Bianca, is a latex doll. It doesn’t matter that everyone around him thinks he’s breaking down. Upon Bianca’s arrival, Lars immediately opens up. His shy smile appears to the public, and their reaction to his behavior is a large part of this charming narrative.
When the setting of a film becomes a character itself, it adds a lot to the story. That being said, the small Wisconsin town in which this story unfolds is what makes it believable. To quote the film, “when tragedy strikes, [people] come over and sit.” Everyone is there for each other, creating a cocoon where they can take time to work through their problems. Even with the lifeless Bianca in the mix, the community surrounds Lars with a warmth and humor that may just be the reminder of humanity that you’re looking for.