Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lars and the Real Girl

Have any of you seen Lars and the Real Girl?
It's a very strange movie, but it is also touching, and profound.

Basically, it is about a really shy guy named Lars, who buys one of those life-sized sex dolls on the internet, only he thinks that she is a real person. At first everyone thinks he is crazy, but the town doctor says that to help him, they need to play along, and let this delusion run its course.

I know it sounds dodgy, but despite having a sex doll as a main character it is actually a very clean and family friendly film.

The trailer provides a good overview of the plot, and the feel of the film:

The whole town rallies to help Lars by treating his doll, Bianca, as part of the community. She goes to church, does volunteer work, gets elected to the school board, spends time with friends, and generally becomes very popular.

At first the doll is really creepy, but as the town warms up to her, she becomes a real character. Also, when she first arrives, she looks like a prostitute; but as the towns people care for her, she slowly becomes more normal looking. They put her in more tasteful clothing, change her hair slightly, and even apply makeup more conservatively. She actually becomes quite pretty. It's really a very interesting transformation.

As Lars' relationship with Bianca progresses, we see his interactions with real people improve. It's almost as if Bianca is his starting point for normalcy. He can talk to her, and interact with her, without any fear or anxiety. He just needs practice.
Several times you can see him talking to Bianca, explaining how to best handle a certain social situation. It is as if he is reciting something he read in How to Win Friends and Influence People. By teaching her these principles, he also reinforces them in himself.

I said before that the film is very touching and profound. Here is probably my favorite scene in the entire movie:

There are a few more scenes like this one that really tug on the heart strings. I particularly like several of the scenes featuring Margo (the girl with the bear), especially their handshake, and the very last scene of the film.
My favorite though, next to the bear CPR, has to be when Lars' older brother tells his wife how guilty he feels for leaving Lars alone with their sick father, and then pushing him away when he returned home. He chokes up as he tells his wife that Lars went to live in the garage like the family dog, and I just about lose it myself.

I first saw Lars and the Real Girl last summer, and I watched it again just the other day. I really like this film, and would highly recommend it to anyone.

P.S. If you do see this film, and you happen to make the following connections:
1. Lars is 27, and I am 27.
2. Lars doesn't have a girlfriend, and I don't have a girlfriend.
3. Lars is very shy, and I am semi-shy.
4. Lars has a sweet 'stache, and I am capable of growing a sweet 'stache.
Please leave the comparisons there. I assure you I will not be buying myself a silicone girlfriend any time soon, and I hope that I demonstrate slightly better social skills than Lars.

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