Lars (Gosling) is one of those sweetly awkward small-town loonies that movies are so fond of. He's a damaged soul who tries to avoid too much human contact, including that of his well-meaning brother Gus (Schneider) and sister-in-law Karin (Mortimer). Then Lars buys a customized life-size sex doll (no, he's not a perv) online and begins introducing her as his girlfriend, Bianca. Family doctor Dagmar (Clarkson) persuades everyone to go along with Lars' delusion for the time being and Bianca is quickly integrated into the community. Fortunately, Gosling et al manage to sell this story without too much ick or schmaltz.
Lars and the Not So Good Movie KHL at 2009-01-06 13:16:12
This movie tries to be a bit of everything...heartwarming, funny, awkward, bitter, loving, sweet, dark, socially conscious...so much so that it completely loses any kind of focus and makes you cry in 30 minutes, then laugh, then want to wretch at why you cried at a particular scene 30 minutes ago because this movie sucks so much and wastes a talented cast on such nonsense. Other movies I'd recommend besides this, that cover some of the same ground, with much better results, include: The Savages; Girl Interrupted; Dummy; the Virgin Suicides; Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God.
Heck, didn't they do this movie already in the 80's, and named it "Mannequin"? (there's even a sequel). Trust me, don't waste 2 previous hours of your life on this, even if you think (as I do) that Ryan Gosling is a deity of acting!
This is a very heart-warming story about Lars, a young man who is virtually unable to interact socially with other people until he buys a large sex doll online. But the sexual implications of this don't even seem to be on Lars' radar. He innocently brings his new girlfriend, "Bianca," to church with him. He talks to her and he hears her speaking to him. He tells others that Bianca used to be a missionary. He brings her to parties. He finds accommodations for her since "it just wouldn't be right for them to sleep under the same roof."
The introduction of Bianca into the film was a little awkward, but that actually worked to bring me into the community's predicament of how to respond to Lars.
At first, those around Lars desperately try to figure out what the heck to do with him, and with Bianca, the newest member of the community. The Midwest setting is perfect for this story. This movie would have been completely different if it were set in L.A.. This film leans very heavily on its setting, and only works, for me, because of its setting.
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