Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Director: Craig Gillespie
Running Time: 106 mins
Lars And The Real Girl is an American film about a man who develops a deep relationship with a life-sized sex doll named Bianca.
Certainly not the most orthodox of romances, Lars And The Real Girl tells one of the most irresistibly charming stories you’ll find on the big screen, with a boundless heart that shines through in the form of gorgeous performances and a touching but still sharp sense of humour.
There’s a lot to love about Lars And The Real Girl, but it’s the film’s cast that really makes the film soar. In the lead role, Ryan Gosling is – for want of a better word – absolutely adorable, and while there’s a captivating and often sombre note of sadness surrounding his medical condition, Gosling shows how his potentially ‘oddball’ character really is a good man at heart.
With a measured performance that doesn’t play up to stereotypical depictions of mental illness or alternative lifestyles, Gosling certainly isn’t looking for Oscars here, but rather giving a realistic and above all moving portrayal of a man dealing with his issues in his own way.
Alongside Gosling are Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider, who care for him from the house beside the garage where he lives. The emotional heart of this movie, Mortimer and Schneider give you a grounded window to understand the situation Gosling finds himself in, and their earnest performances go a long way to helping you connect with all of the characters.
What’s more is that the film is always willing to take its own path as we watch the central ‘romance’ deepen. Rather than ever going on the attack or trying to actively ‘sort out’ Gosling’s issues, the movie is a wonderful depiction of what happens when others allow one person to improve themselves on their own, something which, in this case, requires the whole town to play along to Gosling’s delusions.
It’s a charming if not occasionally unbelievable story, but the movie’s central message really does strike home as we see Gosling’s mindset change, with the screenplay transitioning calmly from a sharp and offbeat comedy-drama to a really sweet story of personal growth.
Overall, I thought Lars And The Real Girl was an absolutely wonderful film, combining sharp humour with touching drama and an uplifting message, all brought together by excellent performances across the board, particularly from leads Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.6.