At first glance, the film about a shy, introvert who makes believe a sex doll is his girlfriend, has the makings of a goofy, romantic comedy. Lars And The Real Girl, is actually anything but that. With a pretty bold performance by Ryan Gosling, the story is really about true love, loneliness, and family. Described as a delusion manifested by his desire to “sort things out”, the town doctor encourages everyone to help Lars by pretending his girlfriend, Bianca, is real. While people are understandably nervous at first, the story has a community coming together slowly to stand by his side. In the process, Bianca becomes almost more and more real in the eyes of everyone as Lars’s delusion. It is surprising that the script never strays off course and sells itself off as comedy or goofy. Instead, it is precise, and sometimes even a bit dark.
Written by Nancy Oliver, the film is nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay. Suffice to say, it is one of 2007’s best films with Gosling continuing to impress post-Half Nelson.
Light hearted and sophisticated: 4/5