Rated PG-13 for some sex-related content.
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
Written By: Nancy Oliver
Listen up, Margo, those action figures are very important to me. They’re worth a lot of money. And if I don’t see every damned one back on my desk pretty soon, then, you can tell your teddy to watch his back. -Kurt
A lonely man who lives in a small northern town, in a garage outside his brother and sister in laws house finds himself uncomfortable and awkward around people. Somehow, he is still very likable. Lars purchases himself a life size doll named Bianca. He has deemed her his girlfriend and the woman of his dreams. When he introduces Bianca to Gus and Karin as though she is a real live woman, their reactions were obviously in the category of shocked. However, they take their brother to a physician/therapist and she begins to help Lars and Bianca. Her instructions include going along with Lars delusions, and Karin and Gus must face their entire small town and their brother’s mental illness together.
Like, you know, like, you don’t jerk people around, you know, and you don’t cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you’re wrong, or you try to, anyways. That’s all I can think of, you know – it sound like it’s easy and for some reason it’s not. -Gus
Lars And The Real Girl is a quirky film that happens to be one of the best movies of the year. This whimsical tale sets itself apart from the mainstream films and stories in way that is both tangible and entertaining. The character’s are inviting and easy to relate to and some are just plain and simply funny. Though the film mostly feels light hearted, it by no means ignores the seriousness of Lars situation, it simply views it from a very different perspective.
Craig Gillespie (the director) centers the film around it’s character’s, leaving the story with a real small town feel to it. It truly captures the feeling of being part of the rest of the world, but nonetheless existing separately from it. It may appear simplistic, but it’s truly a delicate balance to keep, but it’s authentic small town theme holds out effortlessly throughout the film.
The character’s themselves are a delight. It was remarkable to sit through a movie and not have to deal with a “bad guy” or someone trying to spoil the ultimate goal of the protagonists. In this story, the character’s all work together instead of against one another and believe it or not the story was still just as interesting without a giant form of conflict centered around the main character’s. Big Hollywood directors need to take a cue from Lars and remember what telling a story and making a good movie entails.
- Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom
- Emily Mortimer as Karin Lindstrom
- Paul Schneider as Gus Lindstrom
- Kelli Garner as Margo
- Patricia Clarkson as Dagmar
- Nancy Beatty as Mrs. Gruner
- Maxwell McCabe-Lokos as Kurt
- Karen Robinson as Cindy
I simply fell in love with Emily Mortimer’s performance. She was infectious, kind, and utterly adorable. Ryan Goslings subdued performance was a perfect contrast to the interpretation of Karin. Her sympathetic heart, and gentle nature was the exact opposite of Gosling as Lars. Lars was such a fascinating character to take in. He was tender, bizarre, and heartbroken all in one confused body. This performance really showed Gosling’s attention to detail and his dedication to a role. Paul Schneider as Gus actually had the most complex character. By the end of the story he had changed the most and for the better. Lars may have actually helped him more than the other way around. It was a lovely and gradual transition that Schneider performed with genuine care. The entire cast was just wonderful.
Ratings and Suggestions
This was one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve had the pleasure to sit down and watch in some time. With no special effect distractions, no real in depth side character plots, and no fantastical over the top sentimentality, this film was quiet and simplistic. It was content telling it’s story and leaving it at that. It’s a peculiar film that is funny, though never mocking or cruel, sometimes melancholy, but mostly contagious in it’s genuine sweetness and thoughtfulness. I would recommend this film to anyone with an open mind and open heart. It’s a definite purchase for me. Four out of Four heartwarming stars.