I realized two things watching this movie; until now I’ve not seen anything starring Ryan Gosling except a 101 “Hey Girl” memes, and secondly the word comedy should not be used to describe this movie. There is some humorous moments but a movie that makes you tear up more than twice, should not have a comedy label attached.
Lars and the Real Girl is about a painfully shy man who lives in the garage apartment of his deceased parents home. His brother and sister-in-law live in the main house. One day he introduces them to his new girlfriend Bianca. That fact that after all this time he has a girlfriend is not the weird part. That she is a mail order anatomically correct “Real Girl” is.
Lars brother Gus has the reaction that most of us would have, something akin to “has he lost his mind?” However, Karin plays along and after a trip to the doctor, because Bianca seems unwell, they are advised that playing along is the best course of action. That would’ve made an interesting movie. But what makes it’s a great movie is that they don’t just keep the existence of Bianca to themselves. Gus and Karin enlist their community in playing along, all to help Lars work through whatever makes him feel he needs Bianca to be real.
And the community really get’s involved accepting Bianca. That’s what so heartwarming, and yet unbelievable. Maybe I’m just a cynic but I don’t think people would come together like they did in this movie to help one delusional man.
As I said before this is my first Ryan Gosling movie and if this is any indication of his acting ability I see why he has a following. It would have been so easy to overplay this role, to make him slap stick awkward. But Gosling plays him so subtle, his actions so compact and believable, you really feel for the character and just want to hug him most of the time.
I highly recommend this movie. It’s heartwarming and it is also a pretty good examination of what is truly “real” and what lengths we will go to love and find love.