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DVD Review: Lars And The Real Girl

DVD Review: Lars And The Real Girl


Sometimes you find love where you’d least expect it. Just ask Lars (Academy Award Nominee Ryan Gosling), a sweet but quirky guy who thinks he’s found the girl of his dreams in a life-sized doll named Bianca. Lars is completely content with his artificial girlfriend, but when he develops feelings for Margo, an attractive co-worker, Lars finds himself lost in a hilariously unique love triangle, hoping to somehow discover the real meaning of true love. You’ll be swept off your feet by Lars And The Real Girl, hailed as “One of the Year’s 10 Best” by The Associated Press.

Both contained and tender though startlingly honest, Lars And The Real Girl is an unexpected gem. Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a distant but sweet young man marked by his mother’s death during his birth. While living with his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and his expecting wife, Karin (Emily Mortimer), in the garage, Lars is forced to face his fear of losing Karin in childbirth in an inventive way – delusion. He earnestly falls in love with a Real Doll named Bianca which begins to open him up to actual interaction throughout his close community which he had previously avoided. But it is his attraction to a sweet co-worker Margo (Kelli Garner) that ultimately challenges Lars to want more than what Bianca can give him and face that you can’t lose if you never have to begin with.

As a study of both mental illness and compassion, Lars And The Real Girl thoroughly surprised me with its gentle look at why people respond they way they do. Though plugged as an eccentric, tongue-in-cheek comedy more along the lines of Wes Anderson’s work (Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums), it didn’t have the twisted comedy quality as advertised. Instead, it was funny in the way an awkward first date is funny – it’s painful and honest, which is where the true comedy lies. Combine that with toned-down, extraordinary performances by the entire well-respected cast and you have a sweet surprise that I did not see coming. You will definitely be finding a copy of this in my DVD library.

Review by Marie Holzer

Grade: A
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