Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl

I'm happy to report that, in Lars and the Real Girl, Ryan Gosling admirably redeems himself as an actor after the travesty that was Half Nelson. The character of Lars is everything that the other character wasn't, not least someone you could care about and someone you believed.

Lars is a lonely man, living in the garage of the house his late parents left to him and his brother. The main house is occupied by his brother Gus and his wife Karin; they are expecting a baby.

The "real girl" of the title is actually a sex doll Lars ordered online, yet she becomes his companion. Will this eccentricity be accepted by the God-fearing community? And what will the impact be?

First-time helmer Craig Gillespie handles directorial duties well, though perhaps the handheld camerawork at times of emotional upset is a tad obvious. Peter Berg's name pops up in the opening credits as executive producer, and Patricia Clarkson's appearance is usually a guarantee of something worthwhile.

On the surface this is a comedy, and certainly it has some good lip-curling moments. But it was absolutely not the laugh riot that the woman behind us in the cinema thought it to be. And when her inappropriate mood-breaking laughter was immediately followed by the phrase "Only in America", I just wanted to punch her. But that's an aside...

This is the best I've seen of the recent spate of tragicomedies hitting our screens, and I would recommend you catching it if you haven't already. I give Lars and the Real Girl 73 points out of 100.

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