Lars is a quiet and self-conscious guy,
An unsocial introvert, painfully shy.
He stays with his brother and sister-in-law,
But lives in the garage, where he’s quick to withdraw.
At work, he shows up but seems always distracted,
Ignoring a girl who (somehow) is attracted.
His brother Gus thinks Lars prefers loneliness,
But his wife Karen worries he’s mad or depressed.
Then one day, Lars shows up on Gus’s doorstep,
Displaying (for Lars) an unusual pep.
He says that a girl that he first met online
Is there from Brazil for the very first time.
She doesn’t speak English and needs a wheelchair,
But since Lars is so pleased, Gus and Karen don’t care.
It’s the first time that Lars has (at will) come to call.
They’re thrilled . . . till they see she’s a life-size sex doll.
They’re speechless and don’t know just how they should feel,
For Lars seems so earnest in thinking she’s real.
They take this Bianca with Lars, through a ruse,
To a doctor named Dagmar, and hope for good news.
Gus and Karen don’t care for the doctor’s conclusion:
She says they should play along with his delusion.
They spread the word quickly throughout the small town,
Who agree they will humor Lars when he’s around.
Bianca is met with both worry and shock,
But the town supports Lars, once they’ve had time to gawk.
He talks to her, walks with her, takes her on dates,
And tells everyone of her laudable traits.
But visits with Dagmar reveal Lars’s fears
Of death and of contact he’s cooped up for years.
As folks treat Bianca as if she were living,
They distance Lars from her, but Lars has misgivings.
His light-hearted ignorance starts then to dim,
When his childish delusion’s not centered on him.
He starts to grow close to one Margo at work,
But Bianca’s a burden he cannot yet shirk.
It’s not till she’s dying, at least in his mind,
That he finally leaves his Bianca behind.
The town that so loved Lars mourns too for his girl,
But perhaps now he’s ready to face the real world.

Lars and the Real Girl is a dramedy, a comedy that’s dramatic and a drama that’s funny. It’s a quirky movie that is gentle and caring in its humor, just like the townspeople that help Lars grow out of his delusion. With the sex doll and an obvious mental illness, the plot could have so easily become disgusting and insulting, but instead it showcases some fine acting and an excellent script. Ryan Gosling is amazingly believable as Lars and plays off Bianca the doll quite convincingly. Paul Schneider as Gus and Emily Mortimer as Karen also shine, and, by the end of the movie, I could honestly say that I liked all of these characters. Though the script is full of awkward silences and hesitant answers, which make the movie feel slow overall, the dialogue seems very realistic, as if capturing real conversations. My VC thought it was rather weird and slow, but she at least appreciated it.

While the entire town is unrealistically supportive, from electing Bianca to the school board to sending an ambulance for her, their concern for Lars is admittedly sweet, though it’s unclear what he’s done to warrant such love and attention from them. I liked that Lars never used the doll sexually and respected it as he would a real woman. I also appreciate the presence of a kind and unmocked church that helps Lars and (partially) puts forth the great message of the movie: 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Not many films apply morals from the Bible anymore.

While Lars and the Real Girl is not as funny or as dramatic as other films, it successfully makes the audience care for the characters while enjoying a few laughs along the way.

Best line: (Gus, when Lars asks him about being a man) “You grow up when you decide to do right. Okay, and not what’s right for you, but what’s right for everybody, even when it hurts.”

Artistry: 6
Characters/Actors: 7
Entertainment: 4
Visual Effects: N/A
Originality: 7
Watchability: 4
TOTAL: 28 out of 60

Tomorrow: #342 – The Incredible Hulk

© 2014 S. G. Liput