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Lars and the Real Girl
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Reviews & Ratings for
Lars and the Real Girl More at IMDbPro »

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278 out of 316 people found the following review useful:

Don't let the synopsis put you off

9/10
Author: angela-373 from Palm Springs/ CA/ USA
16 October 2007

There is just no way to explain the plot of this film and not have it sound rather silly and this film is anything but foolish frivolity. I found it utterly charming and carefully and delicately directed. There are moments of belly shaking humor and quiet tears as Ryan Gosling brilliantly evolves from a reclusive soul with the help of a silicone woman and a kind hearted community. I want to know these endearing people. There is a moral point to this film, perhaps more than one. Don't be put off by the synopsis, or trailer. This is not your standard Hollywood fare. See it for the humor, or the humanity, either way, you will be glad you did. I see very, very few films twice- this one is on my list.

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238 out of 281 people found the following review useful:

Touching and Original

10/10
Author: madbeast from Los Angeles, CA
13 October 2007

This is one of the most remarkably original films that I have ever seen, providing a refreshing comment that we can learn and expand our horizons from each other if we approach everyone's foibles with a degree of kindness. It is laugh-out-loud funny, but it is also thought-provoking and moving.

Ryan Gosling provides a spectacular tour-de-force as a dysfunctional young man in a small town who only begins to blossom when he starts a "relationship" with an expensive love doll. When he takes the risk of introducing "Bianca" to the tightly-knit community in which he lives, the "relationship" is met with an unexpectedly heartwarming response.

Strong support is provided by the always-refreshing Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, and by Kelli Garner as the sweet thing who becomes "Bianca's" rival. But Gosling provides the heart and soul of this remarkable film that never strikes a false note.

The movie has an incredibly powerful and positive message about the ability of a community to heal and nurture a troubled soul by treating it with acceptance and compassion. It should be required viewing by anyone who feels alone in the world.

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219 out of 247 people found the following review useful:

Lars Has an Anatomically Correct Girlfriend

9/10
Author: evanston_dad from United States
14 November 2007

Lo and behold, a film that still believes in simple human kindness.

There's been a severe lack of that on our movie and television screens lately, which is why I found "Lars and the Real Girl" utterly irresistible. I imagine this is the kind of movie that's either going to work for you or it's not. I can guarantee that if you go into it and pick apart all the ways in which it's not realistic, you're not going to enjoy it.

Ryan Gosling has rocketed to the top of the list of my favorite contemporary actors. He's given two of the best performances in the last two years: here in "Lars" and last year in "Half Nelson." The success of "Lars and the Real Girl" depends almost entirely on Gosling's ability to sell this character to the audience, and he does so flawlessly. Lars is a sweet teddy bear of a man who also happens to be intensely lonely. He orders a life-size and anatomically correct sex doll and proceeds to make a companion of her, taking her to parties, to church, to family dinners. A psychiatrist (a marvelous, as usual, Patricia Clarkson) tells the family that the best thing they can do for Lars is to encourage his delusion until he works through whatever is causing it; they relay that to the townspeople, who take it to heart. As a result, Lars's "girlfriend" is completely accepted by the town, and even gets elected to the school board.

Ultimately, "Lars" probably isn't very realistic, but isn't it nice to think it could be? That a group of people could be this warm, kind and accepting, simply because they happen to like somebody and want to see him get better. The film is full of wonderful performances from everyone. In addition to Gosling and Clarkson, Emily Mortimer shines as Lars's caring and worried sister-in-law.

It really irritates me that critics were divided on this movie on the basis of it pushing the boundaries of credibility, when they almost unanimously praised "Gone Baby Gone," a film so melodramatic and heavy handed as to be no less implausible, and that goes down as two of the most unpleasant hours I've spent in a movie theatre for a long time. Has our culture now decided that a film about good kind people is too unrealistic to stomach, and that the only movies that ring true are ones about human depravity?

So far, "Lars and the Real Girl" is one of my favorite films of the year.

Grade: A

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182 out of 220 people found the following review useful:

C'mon, it's funny. Is it?

9/10
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas
20 October 2007

Greetings again from the darkness. Guilt while laughing is an unusual experience ... well except while watching Lars and Bianca. This film is hilarious, touching and insightful. The product of genius writing by Nancy Oliver (Six Feet Under) and solid direction by Craig Gillespie ("Mr. Woodcock"), this film will force you to step back and think about how you treat those who might be a little different or struggle with social interaction.

Ryan Gosling is absolutely amazing as Lars. His character redefines "being in a shell". Wounded by the pain of losing his parents and literally frightened by human touch, Gosling exudes the humanity of a injured child. The real guilty fun starts once Bianca is delivered. Bianca is the anatomically correct molded doll whom Lars treats as a real girlfriend. The ride picks up steam when his relatives and then the entire town elect to play along.

The entire cast is excellent with standout performances by Emily Mortimer ("Match Point"), Paul Schneider, the great Patricia Clarkson as the very wise and very human doctor, and Kelli Garner ("Thumbsucker") looking very homely as the co-worker with a crush on Lars.

Not sure how wide of audience this will find, but I highly recommend to all adults ... it is not a film for kids. Hopefully the academy takes notice of the film, the writing and the acting ... all top notch.

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115 out of 135 people found the following review useful:

sad, sad movie

9/10
Author: ssto from New York, USA
4 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mislead by some comments here i expected a laugh-out comedy, Ben Stiler style. Many other people in the cinema expected the same and from the beginning of the film they laughed at the slightest hint that something might be funny. Little by little though, the laughs went to silence and people understood they were watching a drama, not a comedy. Indeed there were scenes that made you laugh, but the more important scenes were those that take you by the heart and make you feel and understand. Thanks to the great acting by Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson, all the supporting cast, you get a feel of a community of neighbors, friends, family, perhaps too idealized, but nevertheless, giving hope and warmth.

What totally surprised me was that this is an original American movie (correct me if i'm wrong). The names of the characters, people's features and clothes, the weather and location if you like, all made me think this is an authentic Scandinavian movie, up to the dialog and plot itself. I could literally see rural Scandinavian types and imagined the characters speak Norwegian or Swedish. The whole flow of the movie, the way it never went out of order, kept its steady, peaceful step, so typical for European movies - all my regards to director Craig Gillespie for achieving this. Anything else would've spoiled this sad movie, diminished its message, denied the sacrifices and human pain of its characters

The story in short is of a man, troubled by his past and afraid of closeness even with his loving family. He finds an seemingly undemanding friend in a human-sized doll he buys over the internet. Soon, with the help of his family and the whole town, who decide to play his game, he discovers the beauty of human touch, emotion and contact...

9/10

peace and love

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104 out of 137 people found the following review useful:

Lars and the Real Girl

Author: coco89136 from United States
13 October 2007

I just saw this movie last night with friends and I'll admit I'd never heard of it. I knew it was worth watching when I was told Ryan Gosling was in it so I was mildly excited to see it. The first thirty minutes of the film are pretty damn funny and to some, almost hilarious. Very well done comedic acting that is real, believable, and still amazing to watch. Part of what makes the first thirty minutes so funny is because we know about the doll, and we can't wait for the first reactions. After that the story takes a wonderfully surprising turn to a really touching light drama. I was very surprised but I really loved it. A lot of people laughed throughout the film, and I was very much bothered by that. There is a reason this man is pretending that a "sex" doll is a real person, and its a very internal serious pain thats hes going through, which for me, understanding that part of the story, I felt it was mildly inappropriate for people to laugh, but I understood with time. Near the end of the film it gets a little predictable for one, some would say major, plot turn, but not so predictable as to ruin it. About 5 to 10 minutes before it happens you see it coming, but other than that it was superbly acted by Ryan Gosling who has nothing but an incredible career in front of him, and good supporting roles as well. This is a very enjoyable film, which I recommend to anyone and everyone. It really seems to have something for everyone, but be prepared it might make you laugh, cry, or both. Its a very very good movie, and definitely worth seeing in theaters.

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88 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Yes, a blow-up doll will make you cry

10/10
Author: zeedunn from United States
9 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If anyone had told me I would one day be crying during a movie about a man and his blow-up doll, I would have called them a liar. But, here I am, going through at least 3 Kleenex even after the movie is over. Lars and the Real Girl is a touching, quirky film that is a lesson in why people do the things they do. Anyone that is interested in social work, counseling, psychology, or ministry should watch this movie.

Lars is a quiet young man (probably 30s) who does not like to be touched. He works in a cubicle in some random office. Currently, he lives in the garage of his childhood home. His brother, Gus, and new wife, Karin, live in the connected house and are expecting a child soon. Karin puts a great deal of effort into trying to pull Lars out of his shell. Gus, on the other hand, thinks Lars is happy how he is. It's his choice to spend time alone, isn't it? The status quo is shaken up, however, when Lars brings home a new girlfriend. Her name is Bianca, and she is a blow-up doll. But Lars doesn't realize this, or if he does, he doesn't acknowledge it. She is, to him, real. He talks to her as if she is. For everyone who thinks sounds disgusting, take note: his relationship with Bianca is not sexual by any means. On the contrary, Bianca used to be a missionary and the two of them insist that Bianca sleep in the house instead of in bed with Lars in the garage. I say the two of them insist because Lars actually seems to hear answers when he asks Bianca's questions.

At first everyone is shaken up. The four of them go to the family doctor under the guise of needing to make sure Bianca is in good physical health. Dr. Dagmar suggests to Gus and Karin that Bianca is here for a reason and they should just ride it out. She asks Lars to come in once a week to make sure Bianca is all right. While they wait for the treatments to take effect, Dagmar and Lars get a chance to talk, and voilà, Lars is in counseling without him even knowing it.

Karin wants to do what is best for Lars. Gus just wants this little problem to go away. This is making it all too apparent that maybe things aren't all right with this family. On the positive side, Lars starts spending more time around other people. People of the town, including preachers, hairdressers, and hospital workers, all treat Bianca as if she is real. This seems to give Lars to courage to come out of his shell, but he isn't the only one who changes.

Bianca helps this community and this family come together in unexpected ways. The acting is superb. Ryan Gosling as Lars is sure to get an Oscar nomination. Paul Schneider as Gus is the perfect brother who would rather bury painful issues than deal with them. Patricia Clarkson as Dr. Dagmar is a truly compassionate doctor that would put any counselor to shame.

Lars and the Real Girl has now moved up to my top favorite movies of all time. Anyone who sees this movie will be pleasantly surprised. During the movie, I saw one couple get up and leave. I have no idea what they could have been offended about. There is nothing sexual or gross about this movie. The blow-up doll merely becomes a physical embodiment of one man's terrible loneliness in a world where he was heartlessly abandoned.

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92 out of 118 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful

9/10
Author: garrettsorenson from United States
12 November 2007

My wife and I went to see this on by birthday, and I was expecting it to be sorta quirky and off beat. I was surprised to find that this was a touching and humorous relationship-driven drama.

As already accounted here, Ryan Gosling gave a performance that many MANY of the popular actors could only DREAM of. He was brilliant, and his portrayal of Lars covered so many emotional dynamics.

However, I am going to write about Paul Schneider, who played Lars' brother, Gus. He was so subtle and funny, so spot on! His side-arc concerning being the older brother in a troubled family. . . just genius.

I would recommend this movie to everyone.

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81 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

The best 'feel good' film of 2007!!

8/10
Author: forindcine from United States
28 October 2007

It's always a treat to walk into a theater and leave after viewing something great - something I didn't expect.

The independent film 'Lars and the Real Girl' is just that. It's promoted as a comedy about a guy who's in love with a sex doll, yet the film is the type everyone should see and you can even consider taking your kids. (It's rated PG-13)

Lars (Ryan Gosling) is an introvert, who holds an office job and lives in a northern mid-west town. His pad is a modified garage next to his deceased parents' home. His brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and pregnant, caring sister-in-law, Karin (Emily Mortimer) live in the large house on the property.

One day Lars meets a friend (the doll) on the internet and has her shipped to his home. Being the gentleman that he is, Lars asks Gus and Karin if his quest can stay in the main house until they get to know each other better. This sets off a chain of events that involve the local doctor, minister, his co-workers and ultimately, the entire town.

It's a story of openness and the importance of allowing what you first think is unacceptable and different, is actually completely acceptable. The film draws you in, changes your initial beliefs and provides a wonderful message at the same time. It's a heartwarming, feel good film that will stay with you long after you leave the theater. Lars and his ''real girl' taught me more about life and love. It will do the same for you.

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74 out of 98 people found the following review useful:

'Being There' for a new generation.

9/10
Author: Joel-Steven from United States
2 October 2007

I just saw a screening in LA and a packed house of SAG members LOVED this film! Ryan Gosling's performance hearkens back an equally moving and effective performance from Peter Sellers in Being There, which Gosling and director Craig Gilespie admitted was about their only reference point. Gosling's character is sweet, good natured, and painfully shy and is the heart and soul of this film. His performance as Lars (along with patient direction and a wonderful script) is the prime reason that it all works. I laughed HARD throughout, but by the end I shed real tears over the plot and characters - and I thought doing so over a talking pig was bad! This is a performance WAY out of the ordinary for Gosling, and most of today's young actors could not have pulled it off. Expect an Oscar nomination for Gosling and for the screenplay.

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