“A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.” -IMDB
Even though Lars and the Real Girl came out nearly 15 years ago (it physically hurts me to say that 2007 was almost 15 years ago…seriously, I think I just broke a hip), this film is still as poignant and timely as ever, especially watching it over a year into the pandemic.
Lars and the Real Girl follows its title character as he deals with childhood trauma, depression, and severe loneliness, all of which is dealt with through his relationship with a sex doll, Bianca, who he purchases online. Yes, you read that right. A sex doll.
Lars’s family and community are understandably concerned at what appears to be his sudden break with reality; however, led by his doctor, they begin to go along with this delusion in an attempt to allow him to explore his feelings in this unconventional way. Eventually, Bianca’s presence causes reflection and growth amongst most of the community at large. As for Lars, an overwhelming fear of abandonment has caused him to push others away, particularly as his brother and sister-in-law prepare to welcome a new baby. In moving through the stages of a relationship, even if it is with a doll, Lars learns how to reconnect with the human beings around him.
What is so terrific about this movie is that, while there are sneers and inappropriate comments from a few individuals in the community, a majority of those around Lars are selfless and supportive as he (and they) navigate this unusual relationship. Even those who once thought the relationship bizarre come around in the end. With so many of us experiencing loneliness during these days of social distancing and quarantines, this movie is a perfect commentary on the importance of every single individual and their connection with the outside world.
Yet again, a movie that I was told to watch for years and that somehow always slipped to the back burner has come back for its vengeance! I WISH I HAD WATCHED THIS SOONER! Lars and the Real Girl is one of the most beautiful, sweet, well-acted and compassionate films I’ve ever seen and one that will stay in my movie rotation for years to come.
Rating: WOOOOOORTH THE WAAAAAAATCH!
If you like this movie, you should also see: Her, Silver Linings Playbook, Garden State
Streaming: HBO Max
With: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, R.D. Reid, Kelli Garner
Directed By: Craig Gillespie