Lars Lindstrom is an awkwardly shy young man in a small northern town who finally brings home the girl of his dreams to his brother and sister-in-law's home. The only problem is that she's not real – she's a sex doll Lars ordered off the Internet. But sex is not what Lars has in mind, but rather a deep, meaningful relationship. His sister-in-law is worried for him, his brother thinks he's nuts, but eventually the entire town goes along with his delusion in support of this sweet natured boy that they've always loved.
Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling, is an audacious story about an introverted young man who is afraid of all emotional connections. That is, until he meets his new girlfriend Bianca, a shy, wheelchair bound Brazilian-Danish missionary; who he proudly introduces to his family, associates and colleagues in the small mid-western town in which he reside. The only problem is Bianca is a beautiful blow up sex doll, known on the Internet as a 'real girl'.
Wow this film is a revelation.
With a knock-out script by Six Feet Under writer Nancy Oliver and directed by famed commercials director Craig Gillespie, Lars and the Real Girl is a delightfully realised drama that manages to navigate the absurdity of the story with a sincerity that works to great effect.
The notion of a film about a sweet, damaged man who begins to reconcile the trauma of his past through his relationship with a doll, is risky and exciting and a credit to all those who got it made.
The film’s success also lies in the casting and tone of the piece. Gillespie’s deft direction together with a cast led by the great Patricia Clarkson, collectively serve the intelligent script by avoiding parody and over sentimentality. Ryan Gosling is magnificent as Lars; never mocking or trying for laughs. He brilliantly endows Bianca with a realness that is believable and infectious.
Lars and the Real Girl took me by surprise. Not only is it unique and thought-provoking, it is also moving and very entertaining. It really is lovely to watch a film that is so kind-hearted. If you enjoy bold filmmaking with great acting Lars and the Real Girl will certainly please.