04 Jan

Lars and the Real Girl

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

Grade: A

Ryan Gosling stars as Lars, a troubled and lonely young man who lives in the garage of his childhood home.  His brother, Gus, and pregnant sister-in-law, Karen, live in the main house.  The two try to engage Lars in activity and conversation, but Lars keeps to himself.  They’re surprised when he brings a girl home to dinner one night, and she happens to be a life-sized mail-order plastic doll.

At the psychologist’s urging, Gus and Karen go along with Lars’ delusion, hoping that whatever triggered the need for such will dissipate.  The whole town ends up participating in the charade, and Lars continues his relationship with this doll, “Bianca.”  In the background is Margot, who works with Lars and attends his church.  She’s had a crush on Lars, but he can’t handle it.  Bianca is his girlfriend.  Just when it seems that this might be a permanent situation, something triggers in Lars, and he makes some changes in his life.

This movie says so much about relationships, and the power of community.  It’s about love and healing and getting to know each other, and getting to know ourselves.  I was lucky enough to hear the director, David Gillespie, speak about the movie at a screening.  The whole film was shot in 30 days, and they stuck to the original script without any re-writes.

Lars and the Real Girl is a very sweet movie, and I know we’ll be hearing more about it come awards time.

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