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To some,Lars and the Real Girlwill play as comedy; to others, tragedy. Though Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock) allows Lars Lindstrom (a mustachioed Ryan Gosling, miles away fromHalf Nelson) a happy ending, the road is far from smooth. This rumpled Midwesterner couldn't be more miserable. His brother, Gus (Paul Schneider,All the Real Girls), and sister-in-law, Karin (Emily Mortimer,Lovely and Amazing), fall over themselves to cheer him up, but Lars cannot be moved; he’s been like that since childhood. Then a porn-addicted co-worker hips him to the lifelike Real Doll. The next thing everyone knows, Lars has a new girlfriend named Bianca. She's from Brazil, she's shy, and she uses a wheelchair. She's also made of silicon. (Because Lars is a devout Christian, hanky-panky is out of the question.) Since he's finally emerging from his shell, his doctor, Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson), advises Gus and Karin to play along with the "delusion." Soon the whole town, including Margo (Kelli Garner), who harbors a not-so-secret crush on her officemate, gets in on the action, forcing Lars to rejoin the human race or crawl deeper into psychosis. Written bySix Feet Under's Nancy Oliver,Lars and the Real Girlis built around such a preposterous premise, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Fortunately, the actors play it straight. Gosling does his best to make Lars sympathetic, but Schneider and Mortimer, fully convincing in their concern, are the true heart and soul of this odd little film. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Details

CastRyan Gosling, R.D. Reid, Kelli Garner, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
DirectorCraig Gillespie
Screen WriterNancy Oliver
DVD Release Date:  April 15, 2008
Runtime:  106 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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More Lars and the Real Girl reviews
review by . November 04, 2009
Pros: Good story, acting, and a surprising delight     Cons: May be too slow or different for some     The Bottom Line: A heartwarming story in a small town where people work together to help one man. Yay.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I don't remember if the trailer billed this movie as a comedy or not.  If they did, well, it's not.    That's not to say that it doesn't …
review by . May 02, 2009
This is not a movie for everyone. People who think every utterance regarding mental illness should be dealt with in a serious vein will probably be offended, if not outraged, by this movie. Likewise, those who have little tolerance for fantasy probably won't like it either.     But if you like good movies, it's a charmer.     Lars has had a dysfunctional childhood (like who hasn't?) and it plays out leaving him isolated in his community. In search of love, …
review by . December 12, 2008
Pros: Incredible acting. Very, very funny and touching. A film with a big heart.     Cons: None worth mentioning.     The Bottom Line: Lars and the Real Girl. It's quirky and offbeat. It's touching and symbolic. Mostly, it's VERY, VERY FUNNY. See it and enjoy.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Do you know anyone who is an outsider, a complete social misfit, .... who has no friends?     I …
review by . July 19, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Lars is a quiet and introverted kind of guy. He goes to work every day then he comes home to the garage apartment he lives in, adjacent to the house he grew up in and is now owned by his brother and sister-in-law.      As his pregnant sister-in-law's due date gets closer, Lars seems to emotionally and physically withdraw from his family and co-workers. Preferring to remain in the comforting small walls of his garage apartment, he starts garnering the concern of his sister-in-law. …
review by . July 19, 2008
Those are my people! That's my home land! Every face looks like one of my family, including Lars, who looks like a goofier me at the same age. The houses, the furniture, the downtown shops, the costumes, the church, the lake - it's all museum-quality Upper Midwest. Minnesota to me, since that's where I'm from. Only the accents and the dialogue in general don't sound Minnesotan, and I kinda wonder why not.    Given that we're all Scandihoovians together here, I can make some sense …
review by . May 17, 2008
A few years ago, a major reviewer deeply criticized the movie O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?...primarily because he felt that the movie was mostly a condescending insult to the culture of the deep South...that it made fun of the people it was depicting. The reviewer had similar troubles with the Coen Brothers depiction of the residents of small towns in Minnesota in FARGO.     I had no such qualms. However, after having seen LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, I now understand how the critic …
review by . April 19, 2008
Were anyone to suggest that a 'romance' between a guy and a blowup doll could become one of the more sensitive films of the year, it would be cause for derision - that is, before viewing LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. The improbable story was written by Nancy Oliver (the writer of many episodes of the TV series 'Six Feet Under') and directed by Craig Gillespie who gathered a particularly strong cast of actors to present this examination of compassion and love for an emotionally injured young man by small …
review by . April 17, 2008
Watch Lars once to marvel at the storytelling, the acting and the heart of this film. Watch it over and over again to absorb the charm, the quirk and life-altering love. At least that's my plan.      I adore films where ordinary and slightly broken people stretch and grow into someone inspiring and beautiful. This is that story, and not just one character inspires, several rise to the opportunity to become better versions of themselves.     Lars is damaged. …
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