I've been slowly making my way through my Netflix queue. Recently, I've seen There Will Be Blood, Becoming Jane, Atonement, Juno, La Vie En Rose, and Lars and the Real Girl. It's that last one I want to discuss, as the rest are only varying degrees of okay. (Actually, that's not entirely true. Juno was much better than I expected and quite sweet. But I'm not discussing that film today.)
If you haven't seen Lars and the Real Girl, don't wait a minute longer. Written by Six Feet Under's Nancy Oliver, the movie stars Ryan Gosling as an emotionally stunted introvert who can't seem to embrace and live life fully. Then one evening, he shows up on his brother's and sister-in-law's doorstep and says he's met someone. Delighted, they welcome Lars and his new friend, Bianca, into their home. Only thing is, Bianca is a life-size sex doll.
What follows is an endearing look at the human psyche and the traumas and sorrows we internalize. In the course of Lars' relationship with Bianca, the town embraces his delusion and goes so far as to give Bianca a job as a model in a women's clothing shop, enlists her as a volunteer at the local hospital, and ensures she has the occasional girl's night out with other women in the town.
Patricia Clarkson gives a brilliant performance as Dr. Dagmar. Ryan Gosling is sweet and is supported wonderfully by Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, and Kelli Garner. Out of five stars, I give this one a four and a half. In fact, I liked it so much, I'm going to buy it and add it to my DVD collection.