Lars and the Real Girl - Not So Real
| Okay, hereís the story; the incredibly talented Ryan Gosling plays a socially awkward, reclusive young man who orders a life size sex doll over the internet and treats her as his girl friend as if she were alive. His fellow citizens of the small northern town where he grew up all play along clumsily, on the advice of the local doctor, in an attempt to nudge the little freak back to sanity. The movie is overly cutesy and silly. The talented cast raise the material above the sugary premise but donít save the film from being just too adorable.
There is nothing wrong with light and fluffy but, in this case, this is all the film has. There is little story here. There is little insight into human relations. Itís all pretty pat. He lost his mommy as an infant and is fearful of human relationships. He makes this clear by saying things like ďI like plastic flowers because they arenít real and will last forever.Ē Itís all pretty obvious and not very deep.
The whole cast is pretty talented, especially the always wonderful Patricia Clarkson who, like the majority of the cast, sleep walks through the picture. There just isnít any real feeling here. In a film that is supposed to be all about feelings, itís fairly disappointing that it feels so saccharine.
Lars and the Real Girl stays too safe and never takes risks. It could have been quite original and challenging. Instead it keeps things cute and nice. One option would have been to try to make it really funny but they donít go there either preferring to remain cute. It spends more time trying to make us cry than laugh.
The ďindieĒ film industry has become littered with this kind of safe, common films that donít push any boundaries. Itís like theyíve gone all Hollywood or something. Itís not a bad thing, itís just not good either. I miss the films that really made us think about things as we sat in the dark.