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She's a light eater...

She's a light eater...

PG-13

Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider

Karin: Okay. Okay, all right, we’ll do it, whatever it takes.
Gus: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And everyone’s gonna laugh at him.
Dagmar: …and you.

Lars (Gosling) lives in the converted garage of his brother and sister-in-law’s house.  While he does interact with society – goes to church, has a job, etc – he resists forming any real relationships.  One day, after a co-worker introduces him to the idea of Real Dolls (a life-like doll), Lars orders himself a relationship right off the internet, and treats the doll as though she’s a real person.  His brother and his wife, plus the rest of the town, are forced to play along with Lars’ delusion because clearly Bianca (the doll) is here in Lars’ life for a reason.

This was the second time I’ve watched this movie, and I think I enjoyed it even more this time around.  I feel a little guilty laughing at the absurdity of the situation, but, like the characters in the movie, sometimes you just have to laugh at a situation when you don’t know how to deal with it.

Gus: What are we doing? Why are we doing this for him?
Karin: Oh, come on. It’s funny!
Gus: Is it?
Karin: I don’t know….I don’t know, maybe not.

I thought that exchange between Lars’ brother and his wife was sort of a way to say to the viewer, “it’s ok to laugh at the strangeness of the situation, but there’s a serious side to all of this as well.”

I was surprised at how well Gosling disappeared into this character.  I never really thought of him as Ryan Gosling.  He’s just Lars.  In fact, all the actors do a really good job.  Lars’ brother reacts to the situation exactly how I would expect him to.  He even tries to give Lars a dose of tough reality, in a way only a brother could, but Lars blocks it out completely.  Paul Schneider is very convincing in all of his scenes.

If you’re at all a crier in movies, be prepared to shed a few tears in this one.  It’s touching to see everybody reach out to Lars, even when they’re confused and frustrated by the whole situation.

10 – .5 for a few parts that drag a little – 1 for making things a little too easy at the end – .2 for some slightly underdeveloped characters = 8.3