Lars and the Real Girl

Year: 2007
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
Written By: Nancy Oliver

RYAN’S REVIEW

Without doubt one of the strangest movies I have ever seen, yet I like it.  Amber insisted I watch this movie for years until she finally backed me into a corner I couldn’t get out of.  I begrudgingly watched the film and found myself uncomfortably on the edge of my seat all throughout.  This situation is weird and there is just too much potential for a shocking scene that is really perverse.  When that never happened the movie seemed to really come together in a deeply emotional way and I realized my wife was right.  This is definitely a movie that is much easier the second time around because you know for sure what won’t happen.  With this strange and uncomfortable scenario this story manages to really tell you something about love, insecurity, and coming together to help someone in need.

This may be the most awkward movie I have ever seen, but that is part of what makes it interesting.  Amber and I watched this movie during our time off of work after having our second child.  Watching it now takes me back to that time, when life was so magical and overwhelmingly happy.  That makes me like this movie much more than I think I would have had I seen it during any other time.  I will never forget how nervous this film’s awkwardness made me feel during that time when there was no need to be nervous and everything was so hunky dory. Having a second child was decidedly easier than having a first and while still no cake walk, life was simpler without the pressures of our jobs hanging over our heads.  It was a happy time in life and I will always associate this movie with that chapter in my story.

What I have come to like about this movie is how strange it is.  Watching it the first time I literally couldn’t look away because what could possible happen next? There are so many ways the story could go but thankfully it stays toward the positive.  In this strange and bizarre situation the town that Lars lives in doesn’t reject him for his unusual situation but takes pity on him and goes the extra mile all around to accept and assist his problem. It’s touching, and such an act of kindness from so many people is an inspiring thing to see. At the end of the day though what this guy is parading around as his girlfriend is still a sex toy and that just makes everything so weird.  I feared that either someone would walk in on him using the doll for its actual purpose or that someone else in the doll’s company would do the same.

I am not normally a fan of Ryan Gosling and don’t think he is a good actor, despite what my wife and seemingly every other woman in the world thinks.  In most films I see him doing nothing more than overdoing it when it comes to being cool and I don’t know what it is but I just don’t buy it.  However I do think he gives a different and very profound performance in this film and I give him props for that.  I think the best performance goes to Emily Mortimer.  She is a terrific actress and delivers an incredible performance as the sister-in-law who just really cares about her strange mentally ill brother-in-law. The emotion just pours through her as she gets excited by the possibility of Lars bringing a girl over and when she confronts him about how much everyone in town really cares about him.  I also really like Paul Schneider and have since his days on Parks and RecreationI actually quit watching that show when he left the cast and the God-awful Rob Lowe was added.  In this movie I think he was well cast and did a good job as Lars brother. In case you were wondering, Paul apparently has no relation to Rob Schneider; they simply have the same last name.

This might be one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen but it’s a good one.  I may like it more than I normally would because the time I first saw it was such a happy one but I have enjoyed it just as much this time around. More so in fact because I know now that nothing insanely perverse is going to happen with Lars’s “girlfriend.” It’s an unusual film but packs quite a punch.  The end had me crying my eyes out and I found that to be so surprising after all the emotions the film had invoked in me already.  It’s not a movie I typically encourage others to see but I feel confident in telling you that it is worth your time.  My wife was right about this one and it deserves its place in our collection.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I didn’t know what Ryan would think when I asked him to watch this movie with me. He was really caught off guard as first, like most people are and probably should be, but I think he ultimately saw the beauty in this movie, like I did. This is one of my favorite movies, period. It is an incredibly original story and it sucks me in every time I see it.

larsandtherealgirl

I love this quirky little poster. It looks like a cut and paste job, but done so in a very creative graphic way. It is simple and leaves you to question the plot of the movie, which I think is the most important thing to consider when determining if a poster is actually working or not. I also want to note here that I think it is crazy that Ryan Gosling can be so attractive, suave and womanizing in one film and then turn around and totally encapsulate the character in this film, which to me is the furthest thing from attractive and suave. The poster does it justice and the movie is a must see.

NEXT MOVIE: Last Action Hero (1993)

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