Lars and the Real Girl

Year: 2007
Production Co: Sidney Kimmerl Entertainment
Director: Craig Gillespie
Producer: Sidney Kimmel
Writer: Nancy Oliver
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson
I'd already heard from many other reviewers about how this story was anything but what you expect, but was instead a warm and funny story about a very lonely man.

Gosling is perfect as the nerdish, terminally shy and soft-spoken smalltown guy. He's the talk of his family and friends, all of them feeling sad for such an ineffectual man missing out on romance in his life.

The most expressed manifestation of it is his sister in law Karin (the effervescent Mortimer), who wants Lars to be a bigger part of her and her husband/Lars' brother Gus' lives and has to literally chase and tackle him to convince him to go to their house for dinner, even though he lives in their garage.

Things turn shocking when Lars announces to everyone's delight that he's found a girl he calls Bianca, and brings her to dinner one night. The funniest part of the movie is Gus and Karin sitting open-mouthed at Lars and his new beau - a life-size, articulated sex doll he's bought off the Internet.

It's not only funny but profoundly sad - Lars not only lonely but apparently mentally ill as well. Implausibly (but believably executed), the townspeople rally behind Karin as she begs them to go along with it, afraid Lars might snap otherwise. So Bianca lives a life - everything from making friends to volunteering for work.

It turns more serious as Lars' delusions come to the fore and play out Bianca's imagined life, and the best role in the film is Dagmar (Clarkson), the calm and wise doctor who agrees to see Bianca for a blood pressure problem but with the purpose of helping Lars through his psychosis.

There's a distinctive indie film flavour straight out of Junebug and Juno, but looking past the dressing, it's an interesting story and Gosling again impresses.

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