Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
“Half Nelson” (2006), “Fracture” (2007)
Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, R.D. Reid, Kelli Garner, Nancy Beatty, Doug Lennox, Joe Bostick, Liz Gordon, Nicky Guadagni, Patricia Clarkson, Karen Robinson, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Billy Parrott, Sally Cahill, Angela Vint, Liisa Repo-Martell, Darren Hynes, Víctor Gómez, Tommy Chang, Arnold Pinnock, Joshua Peace, Aurora Browne, Alec McClure, Tannis Burnett, Lauren Ash, Lindsey Connell, Aaron Ferguson, Danna Howe, Annabelle Torsein, Tim Blake, Torquil Colbo
|Director:||Craig Gillespie—“Fright Night” (2011), “The Finest Hours” (2016), “Million Dollar Arm” (2014), “Mr. Woodcock” (2007)|
|Producer:||Sarah Aubrey, Peter Berg, Whitney Brown, John Cameron, William Horberg, Sidney Kimmel, Bruce Toll|
“The search for true love begins outside the box”
It’s pretty easy to be charmed by a film trailer. Quite often we base our decisions on whether a movie is view worthy or not, based on that little two minute production which exists only to sell as many tickets as possible. For each of us, what determines the film’s possible worth differs. Being one who celebrates diversity, I have tried to always be appreciative of the differing opinions and appeals of others. Generally, women tend to see their hearts warm over heartfelt or romantic trailers, while men typically prefer the more action-packed. It wasn’t until the trailer for “Lars and the Real Girl” emerged, that things really got interesting… It seemed that people were either truly eager to see this movie, or thought the premise completely absurd. I fell into the category of those eagerly awaiting its release. As time passed, however, many movies with “amazing” trailers proved to be major disappointments, and so I began to worry about this film, too.
Everyone around Lars sees him as lonely and self-isolated. The ring leader of a community which loves and worries about Lars is his sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer). Continually voicing her worries to her husband Gus, she is met by his certainty that his brother is “fine.” Most everyone believes that, if Lars could simply find a girlfriend, everything would be better.
When the day finally comes that Lars introduces them to his girlfriend Bianca, worries of a different kind emerge as Bianca is an anatomically correct sex doll.
That being said, “Lars and the Real Girl” is by far one of the most endearing films of the year. I believe that it is impossible for anyone to see this film from start to finish and not have liked it.
This list could be incredibly long, but then it would also be too informative. I am going to list a few of the bigger positive components of the film…
Beneath the surface of the laughter (which there is much of) is a story about a broken childhood, extreme loss and the guilt that can eat at all of us and cause us to shut down. There are so many different opinions on exactly why Lars “invents” Bianca. Even if everyone’s psychological prognosis of why (and how) differs, the point is still the same. “Lars and the Real Girl” is a movie full of healing and heart, full of redemption and love.
There is so much that one could pull from this film—so much about loving others, about receiving love from others and about how far we will go to love and embrace the people in our own lives. It’s easy to walk into a film about a man who loves a doll, and be cynical. It’s easy to learn that it’s a sex toy and pass judgment. I truly hope that we can all get past those too small diversions and give this movie a chance, because it is rare that mainstream entertainment produces such an amazing, uplifting and endearing piece of art.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.