Lars and the Real Girl

Rated 4.0

Ryan Gosling plays Lars, a man with major social issues. So major, in fact, that he orders a love doll via mail and treats it as his girlfriend upon its arrival. Not a sex toy … a girlfriend. The small town he lives in decides to embrace the love doll, named Bianca, as real in support of their friend. The movie is about loneliness, but it’s also about the lengths that friends and family will go to in order to show their love and kinship. Gosling convinces on every level as a guy struggling to deal with his existence, and the supporting cast is just as strong. Paul Schneider (having one hell of a year) is painfully good as Lars’ concerned brother, as is Emily Mortimer as Lars’ sister-in-law. Kelli Garner is winningly sweet as Margo, a Lars coworker with an obvious attraction to him. The biggest hero in this is director Craig Gillespie, who treats the subject with an unexpected realness. The film is not the geek show it would seem to be. It’s actually quite moving.