When I sat down on my plush couch and watched Lars and the Real Girl, I expected the movie to be your typical romantic comedy. What I love about romantic comedies are the cliches and the fact that unlike life, they all end the same way. As the movie began, I realized that although Ryan Gosling played the main character, this wasn’t your average movie. Lars, the protagonist, is a quirky man who likes to spend time alone. His brother lives next door to him and is constantly trying to get Lars out of his house. The movie continues to diverge from the norm when Lars gets a mannequin doll online and believes she is real. The whole town is taken aback and believes Lars is insane. However, the community comes together and goes along with Lars’ delusion.
While this movie may be different, I found it irresistibly charming on several different levels. First, the acting is impeccable and the viewer feels the love the characters have for one another. I was awestruck at the positive response supporting characters had to Lars’ mental illness. If the town existed, I would live there! I also loved the plot, and found the protagonist to be a relatable character. Like all human beings, Lars coped with loneliness and change in the movie. On a more personal level, I thought this movie was a great representation of someone struggling with mental illness. Often people tend to alienate unstable people but the characters in the movie did the exact opposite with Lars. They embraced his differences and helped him come out of his shell.
I highly recommend watching Lars and the Real Girl. I suggest watching with friends but not younger children because there is mature content.