Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Lars and the Real Girl

Posted on

Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
George Kraychyk

Lars and the Real Girl

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
106 minutes
Limited Release Date:
10/12/07
performer:
Patricia Clarkson, Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
director:
Craig Gillespie
distributor:
MGM
author:
73797
genre:
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a B+

When Lars and the Real Girl hit theaters last fall, its ludicrous premise — boy falls for sex doll — seemed to recall the whimsical ’80s love story Mannequin (department-store lackey finds romance with fiberglass woman). Well, someone at MGM smelled marketing synergy: Why else would the studio drop Lars the same day as the double feature of Mannequin and its new-to-DVD sequel, Mannequin 2: On the Move?

Lars and the Real Girl moves the man-in-love-with-an-inanimate-object fantasy into the modern, post-Mannequin era by adding a surprising and effective level of gravitas. As the wearily earnest Lars, Ryan Gosling totes around his girlfriend, an anatomically correct sex doll named Bianca. In a twist, his Midwestern town makes her ”real” by playing along, ostensibly to help him work through his delusion. But eventually, the empty-headed Bianca actually acquires some authenticity. ”The film’s about people communicating with each other and coming together, and about connecting,” says director Craig Gillespie in an interview. As a contrast to the Mannequin movies, his point couldn’t be more spot-on: By the film’s end, we’ve grown unexpectedly attached to Lars and his Capraesque town.

In the cheekily comic featurette ”A Real Leading Lady,” costar Emily Mortimer raves about Bianca: ”She sits quietly…. She doesn’t…throw hissy fits and, you know, demand things.” But the lack of substantive extras — Where’s the Gosling commentary? Extended outtakes? The sit-down with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nancy Oliver? — leaves us feeling a bit deflated. B+

Comments