MOVIEGOER REVIEW: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
The premise of "Lars and the Real Girl," the new film by Craig Gillespie and starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Paul Schneider and Bianca the plastic doll is so hearbreakingly sweet and absurdly strange that it's hard to believe that Gillespie's the same guy behind one of the year's silliest cinematic endeavors "Mr. Woodcock." Gosling, in yet another fine performance, is Lars, an emotionally challenged fellow so weird that it's a wonder he has friends. He lives in the garage of his parents house, now occupied by his brother Gus (Mr. Schneider) and his wife Karin (Ms. Mortimer). He doesn't much care to spend time with anyone, and when his cubicle mate finds these custom-ordered dolls complete with silicon breasts and replicated you know what's, Lars perks up, and Bianca arives via UPS.
Clearly, Lars is sick and needs help. And in his small northern town, it is help that he receives. From the town doctor (Ms. Clarkson), the people at his church, his colleagues at work and his family. Everyone welcomes this faux person, Bianca, into their lives. They give her a job, fix her hair and elect her to the school board.
And herein lies the lovely nature of Nancy Oliver's script. To think that anyone in this day and time would act such a way, well, is a bit farfetched. Most people, rather than indulge him, would have him committed. But the kind folks in this film don't, and their decision makes perfect sense. And as a result, Lars eventually finds his way out of the darkness.
We should all be so fortunate to have friends like these.