What a delightful surprise of a film. Lars and the Real Girl is directed by Craig Gillespie and stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Kelli Garner, and Patricia Clarkson. The film follows Lars Lindstrom (Gosling), who lives in his brother’s (Paul Schneider) garage and pretty much cuts himself off from society. He goes to work, comes home, keeps to himself, then goes to church. Repeat this cycle over and over. Until one day, his co-worker shows Lars that there are sex dolls you can purchase online that are completely customizable. Lars creates Bianca, who he introduces to everyone as his girlfriend. Naturally, his family is concerned about his mental state. After his therapist (Clarkson) advises playing along with Lars’ situation. Soon, the whole town is supporting Lars and treating Bianca like a real person.
The acting in this film is incredible. Ryan Gosling brings a sweetness and vulnerability to Lars, and Emily Mortimer is charming as his loving, supportive sister-in-law Karin. Paul Schneider brings skepticism and a stubborn mindset to Gus, the brother of Lars.
This film shouldn’t work, but it does. It’s absolutely charming, quirky, and heart-wrenching. You immediately care about Lars, and I found myself even buying into Bianca being a legitimate companion for Lars. I wanted to see him happy, and identified with him on many levels. I share so many traits with Lars (obviously I’m not in a relationship with a sex doll, but you get my drift) that I burst into tears watching this.
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