Monday, November 1, 2010

Movies You Might Have Missed Mondays

So, I’ve been picking the classics so far on these special Mondays, purely by chance, I assure you. But this week, I decided to highlight a movie from our current century, same decade even.

In 2007, the indie world gave us a little nugget called Lars and the Real Girl staring Ryan Gosling. Few people watched this in the theatres, which I understand, but it’s a shame because I discovered it to be one of my favorite movies.

I understand because the premise sounds whacked and maybe even a little bit bizarre. But I decided to watch it anyway, out of pure curiosity, and I was so glad I did.

It’s about a seemingly normal, uninteresting young man, Lars. He has a job, he goes to church, he lives in the garage next to his brother and pregnant sister-in-law’s house. Although he operates in society, he isn’t really social. He has some nuances that make him come across as odd. Likable, just odd.

His sister-in-law worries about him being lonely, constantly badgering him to come to dinner. His co-workers needle him in attempts to draw him out. There’s even a sweet girl at work who likes him. But Lars sees the world differently. He’s careful, cautious, tentative, apparently because of losses in his past.

A combination of it all gives him an idea.

He orders a blow-up, sex doll off the Internet.

Of course, this shocks everyone. But it’s not what they think… or you think.

Lars is under the delusion that this doll is a real girl, Bianca, his new missionary girlfriend who is also handicapped, thus needs pushed around in a wheelchair. It’s completely and totally innocent.

Okay, so the premise is weird.

What’s touching about it to me is that so Lars can work through the issues he has, even though they don’t understand, the whole town goes along with his delusion. They greet Bianca, they take her on “girl” dates, they have her volunteer at the hospital and at the elementary school, they even give her a job modeling at a dress shop (you know, like the mannequin in the window!).

I like this movie because it is an example of community, of serving a fellow human being out of love and compassion instead of writing them off as weird or crazy. It’s too easy to ignore or ridicule people different than us, especially those with social challenges. We don’t have time, or we don’t understand, or we’re too uncomfortable to give people the attention or respect they deserve. We judge by the world’s standards too often, and too many souls fall through the cracks when it wouldn’t take that much out of our own routines to really help change a life.

Lars and the Real Girl is not action-packed. You probably won’t laugh until you cry. It’s based on an idea that might weird you out at first. But it’s smart. It drives a good point straight to the heart. And by the end, you’ll believe with Lars that Bianca is a real girl.

Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends. Be blessed!

(photo by


Jenni said...

I loved Lars and the Real Girl! It was so heart-warming. I thought it was great. Good pick!

Anonymous said...

Oh my. This sounds like a really different kind of movie. Never heard of it, actually. What an interesting concept. I liked your take on it.