I’m fighting some fever/pseudo-pneumonia thing as I write this (ugh)…
I have always LOVED this film, but never wrote about it until now. I’ve been watching it over and over as I lie in bed, trying to recover.
Lars and the Real Girl is one of the most heartwarming films I have ever seen in my life. Every time I watch it, I sob or cry a little, at various scenes… my favorite being Margo and her teddy bear (see video below). The movie is just so gentle, so sincere, in so many ways. It’s also oddly quiet (dialogue-wise)… it’s about half the volume of a normal film (I don’t know if that was a deliberate decision but I don’t mind).
When I think of this film, or while I’m watching it, I think…. many, many people need to be educated about compassion. And they need true understanding of the loneliness and isolation that so many feel. And that they should try to not think everything’s “weird” or “creepy” just because it’s out of someone’s comfort zone (such as a sex doll, or in this case, as the trailer shows, a person so lonely and socially inept, that he pretends a doll is his new girlfriend). And empathy… empathy. These three things… would utterly change the world.
The trailer might show it as a comedy, which it is absolutely not. The film itself is a million times better than most scenes in the trailer. And it is sincerely touching.
For a lot of people, shyness, loneliness and social anxiety can be truly crippling. I relate to this film on a deep, deep level. Few people know what I’ve been through in my life, in the past, in the present, and what I’ll probably experience more of in the future. I’m a functioning human being, but I am long-broken and still healing from so much. And I have always been incredibly shy, to the point of insane awkwardness.
Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) is a socially inept, kindhearted guy, living in his brother’s converted garage, somewhere in Wisconsin. Lars is incredibly lonely and lives an isolated life (verbally and physically), and feels that the touch from others is so uncomfortable that any touch from anyone, even his sister-in-law or doctor, feels like an actual burn.
One day, he orders a sex doll from Abyss Creations (the first silicone sex doll manufacturer, and the makers of Real Doll). He introduces the doll (Bianca) to his brother and sister-in-law, and from the moment the doll arrives, he acts as if she’s real, because in his mind, she is 100% real.
Phenomenal story and acting, and a film that truly expresses all that is good about humanity. Small communities, initially threatened or creeped out, eventually coming together to try and bring a greater understanding of others and what they might be going through. I wish everyone on earth could see this film and just see things through Lars’ eyes.
Ryan Gosling is absolutely superb in this film, as is everyone else (Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider and the always lovely Kelli Garner as “Margo”).
Do yourself a favor and watch this. And buy the DVD, too. Share it with a loved one. Share it with your friend. Tell people about it. The film and its message are absolutely beautiful and touching. Written by Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie.
If you don’t feel anything watching this…………………. well, you will.
January 30th, 2020
Teddy bear scene:
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