I first watched this movie several years ago when a writing instructor recommended it for its story structure.
Then a few days ago, we had cinephile friends from out of town visiting and were searching Netflix for something we could all watch. I asked if they’d seen Lars and the Real Girl yet. They hadn’t.
Search over. I put it in the player and it was enjoyed by all. Except for Stud Muffin, who prefers that his movies include firearms and explosions, but even he appreciated its whimsy.
It’s the story of a young man (Lars), who slips into a delusion and believes that a blow-up sex doll is his new girlfriend Bianca.
Lars’s brother Gus and sister-in-law Karen are understandably taken aback.
They suggest that Bianca sees the local doctor because she’s “not well,” according to Lars. The doctor “examines” Bianca but also questions Lars. The doctor tells Lars’s family that they should go along with the delusion, that Bianca is filling a need in Lars. Gus and Karen ask their church friends to join them in pretending Bianca is real.
During Bianca’s weekly treatments, the doctor also visits with Lars, casually asking him questions about himself as well as Bianca.
Lars’s backstory unfolds slowly (death of a parent, depression of the other, brother who left home).
The townsfolk and Lars’s co-workers take Bianca to their hearts, treating her not only as if she’s real but as if she’s a beloved member of the community. She’s even voted onto the school board.
The resolution of the story is heartwarming and absolutely true to Lars’s character and nature.
It’s a charming movie that deserves more fans. Check it out.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated movie?