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Lars & The Real Girl
DVD disk
05.13.2008 By: Chris Bumbray
Lars & The Real Girl order
Director:
Craig Gillespie

Actors:
Ryan Golsling
Emily Mortimer
Patricia Clarkson
Paul Schneider

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Lars (Ryan Gosling), is a painfully shy and withdrawn young man who lives in a small northern town with his brother & sister in law. One day, Lars announces to his family that he's met the girl of his dreams. Her name's Bianca and she seems perfect in every way, except one- she's a sex doll that Lars ordered off the Internet. Naturally his family thinks Lars has gone insane, but after consulting with the town doctor- they decide to play along with Lars' charade. Soon the whole town is treating Bianca as if she's a real girl (hence the title).

IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For a movie about a guy falling in love with a sex doll, LARS & THE REAL GIRL surprisingly has a lot of heart. It's actually a lot like the movie HARVEY- except instead of hanging around with an imaginary six foot tall bunny rabbit, our hero hangs out with an Internet sex toy named Bianca. While at times I had a hard time believing that the local townsfolk would be so quick to embrace Lars & Bianca, I must admit that I found the film on the whole to be quite charming.

Given that the director, Craig Gilespie's last film was the dreadful MR. WOODCOCK, I did not expect LARS & THE REAL GIRL to be such sweet and totally inoffensive film. Don't go in expecting lots of scenes with Ryan Gosling having sex with an inflatable doll. The relationship between Lars & Bianca is not physical, but emotional. Lars has a lot of deep (one sided) conversations with Bianca in which he lays bare all of the problems he has fitting into society- and I have to give a lot of credit to star Ryan Gosling. The fact that Lars remains such a likable character throughout the film says a lot about Gosling's acting ability. In most other actors' hands- Lars would be pathetic and creepy, but Gosling imbues the character with a surprising amount of dignity.

The supporting cast is also rock solid. Paul Schneider- who was brilliant in David Gordon Green's ALL THE REAL GIRLS, is very good as Gosling's older brother, Gus. In a lot of films, this character would have been portrayed as a bully, but in this film Gus is a totally likable guy. Of all the characters, he has the hardest time accepting Bianca. British actress Emily Mortimer (as Gus's supportive wife) and Patrica Clarkson (as the town doctor) round out the cast- and both do good work as always.

THE EXTRAS
The Real Story of LARS & THE REAL GIRL(10:10)- Typical EPK fluff- nothing terribly exciting here.

A Real Leading Lady (5:40)- Jokey segment where the actors and filmmakers sit around and talk about Bianca as if she's a real actress. Cute- but goes on too long.

There's also a brief 42 second deleted scene where Lars sits in a bathtub with Bianca. Nothing earth shattering here.

That's pretty much it, bedside of handful of trailers for Lars and a few other MGM releases, Overall a surprisingly weak slate of extras. It would have been nice to at least have had a director's commentary.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overall a thoroughly charming and quirky indie- featuring a brilliant performance from Gosling. Definitely worth a look.

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