Lars and the Real Girl came out around the same time as Juno. For one reason or another, I never had a chance to see either in the movie theaters, so I rented both over the past couple of weeks. As far as indie films go, I have a tendency to feel very naive because I never really understand the point. I never see what is so progressive and edgy. To me, a film is a film, a story is a story. All that matters is that it is done and presented well.
I feel alone in saying this, but I did not see the appeal and attraction of Juno. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t find it original, the dialog was too witty and sarcastic to be realistic and the characters were somewhat annoying and shallow.
Lars and the Real Girl had everything that Juno didn’t. It had a heart and soul. A more realistic vision of life in a small town. The characters were approachable and although the situation wasn’t exactly “normal” the emotions were something all people go through.
**warning** There might be spoilers, skim with caution.
Lars is a quirky, quiet, sweet guy who I think is on some level autistic. He has his routines, he doesn’t like it when people touch him, and he was living alone with his father before his father died. That being said, he’s not the most emotionally available guy out there. He stays to himself mostly. One day, He pops up at his brother’s door and says he has a visitor, a girlfriend. This girlfriend is a life-like blow-up doll that Lars ordered over the Internet.
The commercials and trailer made the movie seem like more a comedy than it really is. What it is about, is a man with a huge emotionally gap between himself and his community. He’s depressed and alone and he doesn’t know how to reach out for help. Bianca (the girlfriend) is a vehicle for him to bridge this gap. The small town love for Lars is reflected in how the community accepts Bianca as real and indulges Lars in his delusion. They accept Bianca in their lives because they want Lars in their lives.
Its a very touching story of people being good people, of being patient, understanding and full of love and support when it is least expected.
Ryan Gosling is amazing in this role. Its nowhere near the standards set by Leonardo Di Caprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, but Gosling’s performance is still really good. The supporting cast had a fantastic chemistry, and it didn’t feel as if anyone over-acted or overshadowed each other.
I’m not one to buy DVDs, (I only have 5) but I think this one is worth getting. Its right up there with Garden State and Eternal Sunshine.