Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lars And The Real Girl

Have I mentioned before how much I admire the work of Ryan Gosling?

(Except for that whole New Mickey Mouse Club period) Gosling seems smart about the parts he chooses, taking roles that plumb emotional depths and which explore themes off the mainstream. I tend to think he's this generations Pacino, De Niro and Hoffman. In talent, and in his willingness to work the craft.

In Lars And The Real Girl, Gosling hits another home run as a lonely, highly eccentric young man who uses a sex doll to fill his need for companionship...

Nah, that description doesn't really do the film justice. Let me try again.

In Lars And The Real Girl, Gosling is brilliant in his portrayal of a man with some sort of disorder--perhaps a trauma-induced delusional disorder, perhaps some form of autism--that causes him to disconnect from real humans, but relate realistically to a sex doll. This ultimately helps him...

Nope, that one sucks too. I'll try once more. As always, I appreciate your patience.

Lars And The Real Girl tells the story of a young man suffering from severe isolation, and from a disconnect with his community. He's more than eccentric; he struggles with connecting with other people, including his family. Although many believe he doesn't want to interact with them, he does. In fact, he desperately wants to interact with others, but it's extremely difficult for him to do. Socialization is painful, and he doesn't seem to understand the subtle rules that go along with interacting with humans.

To reduce his growing anxiety, he buys a realistic-looking sex doll, and creates--and lives within--the delusion that they have a romantic relationship.

The genuine acceptance of his small-town community allows the delusion to progress like a natural relationship. That acceptance--coupled with the social interaction practice Lars gets in the process--allows Lars the skills necessary to evolve into a more functional adult.

Whew...that was hard. Really, anytime one uses the term "sex doll" do discuss a movie, eyes are gonna role.

I understand. Really.

Lars And The Real Girl isn't' about the sex doll. It's about individuality, acceptance, isolation, our social structure and the human need for touch. It's compelling and complex, tragic and poignant. It's funny, and it's dramatic. In the end, it's brilliant.

And it's one of the best movies I've seen in years.


Tasha said...

Lars and the Real Girl...well it definitely is a great movie. Gosling was excellent. It provoked alot of feeling for me but not the feel good one that I think they were going for. I'm still a little teary-eyed and here's why. The world will never be this way. Most people will never embrace others w/ mental disorder. Hollywood sells us lies about our courage and goodwill. Lars and the Real Girl saddened me because I could not believe in the fantasy of an accepting and supportive community even for a moment. I guess I'm jaded and pessimistic...

The Film Geek said...

Hey, glad you liked it!

While I tend to agree with you about society as a whole, I think we can make our own small communities of acceptance.

I hope, anyway. :)