Lars and the real girl

so last nite tbV and i finally watched the movie ‘Lars and the real girl’ which had come highly recommended by our Philly friend Janell Anema and it was indeed well worth the watch.

Ryan Gosling [who i have been completely against since he starred in ‘The Notebook’ which is a movie which irritated me beyond belief for reasons that most people don’t really care much about] is phenomenal as Lars, who is a likeable yet completely socially strange office cubicle worker who develops a sweet and completely innocent romantic relationship with an anatomically correct sex doll [basically], a ‘Realdoll’ who he calls ‘Bianca’ and introduces to his brother and his pregnant sister-in-law and then later to the rest of the town as his girlfriend.

Lars is completely serious though and probably the most powerful and defining scene in the movie is the one where his brother and sister in law get all excited because Lars is bringing across ‘his girlfriend’ [having been a complete recluse living in their garage converted into a room] and then it cuts to their stunned speechless faces as they sit opposite Lars and this dressed up sex doll ‘Bianca’ that they have just been introduced to. Cue long drawn out pause ending in a ‘can i speak to you in the kitchen?’ moment between the couple.

amazing story, brilliant performances by all the key and support players and it scores bonus points for casting Mark Brendanawicz [from my favourite current sitcom, Parks and Recreation, actor Paul Schneider] as the brother of Lars.

but where the movie comes to life is when they take Lars to this doctor/psychologist under the pretence that they are taking Bianca to get checked up and she suggests to them that they have to go along with the delusion which Lars has created if they want to get to the bottom of it.

Lars brother and sister-in-law approach the leaders in the church and after initial reluctance they agree to go along with it and soon everyone in this small town are treating Bianca as if she is real.

this for me was when it stopped being a movie about Lars and this girl and became a movie about Lars and the church – at one key moment of the movie Lars is all upset and shouts at his sister in law that no-one cares for him. she counters with the fact that everyone in the village has included and welcomed and supported and loved Bianca because of him, because they love Lars and it is their way of showing it.

you REALLY have to see the movie if you want to really ‘get’ this because it most likely starts sounding pretty creepy somewhere between ‘sex doll’ and… well just at sex doll probably, but in actual fact Bianca is anything but. as they start to treat her as if she is real and continue to love and treat Lars as if nothing is wrong with him, slowly the townspeople start to realise a whole lot of stuff about themselves.

the church being the church. instead of getting caught up with ‘the need to fix Lars’, they choose instead [some of them against their better judgement altho they change through the story] to focus on the primary goal of the church, that of Loving Lars, and the results are powerful.

yeah just go and watch this movie! Ryan Gosling, all is forgiven. how he wasn’t considered for a Oscar for this performance i do not know [altho he was apparently nominated for a Golden Globe]

and church, let’s learn from this. Love first. Let God largely take care of the rest… but never at the expense of Love.