Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl


Lars and the Real Girl is warm, funny, and moving, but felt a little “screenplay” to me. Aside from the indie film cliche of The Small Town (which affords an isolated community of eccentrics and an economic small cast), it seems to be a precisely workshopped exploration of a simple compelling premise: a man falls in love with a sex doll (and yes, they actually exist). However, the fine script and performances really do sell the unlikely conceit. Ryan Gosling makes a potentially unappealing character very sympathetic, and indie queen Patricia Clarkson is so sublimely calm (watch her respond to each outrageous development in Lars’ life with a blink and a pause) that I suspect she would make a great shrink in real life.

Lars and the Real GirlGuess what’s coming to dinner

If I were in a screenwriting class workshopping this script, I think perhaps I might point out one missing aspect: we see the town pull together to support Lars, but would they do so for just any citizen? I’m not sure there’s a sense of why they’re especially protective of Lars in particular.

Lars and the Real GirlEven better than the real thing?

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