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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007) « previous next »
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Author Topic: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007)  (Read 397 times)
ulthar
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« on: April 03, 2012, 11:02:33 PM »

We've been toying with off-the-beaten-path Romantic Comedies lately, liking such oddball fair as CAMILLE and being very pleasantly surprised by the depth of IMAGINE ME AND YOU.

But tonight's offering, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, takes the prize so far.  This movie was genuinely creative, had characters with a fully developed third dimension (even "cliche" visual references were depth defining) and showed a spiritual side to mental illness and real suffering.

The plot is simple enough on the surface.  Lars is a very shy and very lonely young man, but he's also very deeply troubled. In course, his girlfriend arrives in a box, natural enough since she's a life-size sex doll.  Lars' delusion is that she is completely real to him.

One of the truly touching aspects of this movie is how the whole town plays along.  The people in that town care about him so much, he's a cherished member of their community, that to them, she becomes real, also.

Lars is not just a "nut," though; his pain is very real and for perfectly explainable reasons.  His mother died while giving birth to him, his father was devastated by his loss (and thus apparently never bonded with the boy he had to raise alone) and now his brother's wife is pregnant; Lars is terrified that she will die, too.

His shyness goes beyond mere social awkwardness, also.  He feels real physical pain at the touch of another, and cannot stand to be hugged. 

Even with these real issues, this movie is a comedy.  The ending, both with the doll and with the titular "real girl" are predictable, but it just plain does not matter.  It's easy enough to figure out the ending, so you focus on the ride to get there, and that's part of the charm.

This movie is very much about Lars' healing, the love and kindness shown to him by his neighbors and the spark of the relationship being based on more than superficial self-gratification seen in more 'mainstream' romantic comedies.

There are so many layers of "good" in this movie, I just cannot help giving it 4.5 out of 5.

Check it out if for no other reason Ryan Gosling's acting....where's the "academy" on film's like this?
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Hammock Rider
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 11:22:51 AM »

  You're right, where is the Academy on movies like these? Maybe it's too offbeat. You don't see a lot of real creativity celebrated at the Oscars.

  But to get back to the movie, I loved it. The humor is very real despite the "outlandish", for lack of a better word, premise. Top notch.
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Flick James
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 11:34:43 AM »

I saw it and thought it was quite good. More often than not films that take go down the kind of "quirky" path that this film chose end up being a let down, or they'll take the quaintness of small communities and seem like their celebrating it but actually it's taking sarcastic stabs at small town communities.

This film actually presented small towns in a very positive light. I was using this film as an example to Indy about films that portray Christianity or Christian communities in a positive way. This was not strictly about a Christian community, it was more about the sense of small town community involvement and commitment to its own. In that way Lars and the Real Girl managed to be both quirky and genuine.
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ulthar
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 12:03:21 PM »


I saw it and thought it was quite good. More often than not films that take go down the kind of "quirky" path that this film chose end up being a let down, or they'll take the quaintness of small communities and seem like their celebrating it but actually it's taking sarcastic stabs at small town communities.

This film actually presented small towns in a very positive light. I was using this film as an example to Indy about films that portray Christianity or Christian communities in a positive way. This was not strictly about a Christian community, it was more about the sense of small town community involvement and commitment to its own. In that way Lars and the Real Girl managed to be both quirky and genuine.


Interesting comment on the Christian angle.

I do think it present the Christians in the town as being very genuine in their spirituality and love for Christ, rather than focused on the more superficial aspects of practicing their "religion."  I hope the contrast makes sense.


*** SPOILER WARNING ***










I read somewhere that someone, a professed agnostic, was "upset" about the funeral scene, almost as though it made a mockery of "religious ceremonies."

Well, I disagree.  I think that scene is about the town's love for Lars, and their genuine caring for him as well as the connection they ALL felt toward each other and Bianca was part of that.  I've known pastors that would have seen that bigger picture and absolutely would have held such a ceremony.

At one church I attended, we had a "Pet Sunday" every year where folks could bring their pets to church to celebrate their lives and the roles they played, as well as taking a few moments to remember pets lost.  I thought that was VERY cool (this was a mainstream Protestant Denomination, not a 'corner case'), and not on the whole much different to how this town treated the loss of Bianca.

They were holding a funeral for the loss of Lars' pain, especially in light of what was driving his "illness" anyway...very deep stuff in my opinion.  It was all very symbolic, as any funeral tends to be.
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Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

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ChaosTheory
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 11:05:13 AM »

I saw it and thought it was quite good. More often than not films that take go down the kind of "quirky" path that this film chose end up being a let down, or they'll take the quaintness of small communities and seem like their celebrating it but actually it's taking sarcastic stabs at small town communities.

This film actually presented small towns in a very positive light. I was using this film as an example to Indy about films that portray Christianity or Christian communities in a positive way. This was not strictly about a Christian community, it was more about the sense of small town community involvement and commitment to its own. In that way Lars and the Real Girl managed to be both quirky and genuine.

I appreciated that too, as someone who comes from a small town H'wood tends to focus on the negative way too much when it comes to both portraying Christianity, and setting stories in small/rural areas.   
One of my favorite movies from the last 10 years!  Smile
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 02:17:30 PM »

I talked about this one in the Recent Viewings thread some time back. Recall really enjoying it largely for the small town factor of the film which does remind me somewhat of the area in which I live or at least the way it was once upon a time. Great performances in this one, it did deserve some more recognition IMO.
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ulthar
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 04:05:43 PM »

Quote

I was using this film as an example to Indy


and

Quote

I talked about this one in the Recent Viewings thread some time back


Well, shoot.  I did a search for the title and did not find it specifically mentioned.  Maybe my search skills need polishing...

Apologies!

Edit: Just did another search and found several references in several threads.  Oh well, sorry again...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:08:59 PM by ulthar » Logged

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Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
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