Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Yeah, it's sweet and well-made and all, but I'm gonna be something of a skeptic on this one. For one thing, I think there's something basically dishonest about a movie that has as its premise 'a man falls in love with a sex doll' and then goes to great lengths to make sure that its audience knows that there's no actual sex happening, thank you very much. The movie wants to titillate you but not creep you out, and as far as that goes it manages to walk that line but there's still a persistent denial at the movie's center that I find annoying. Basically, I wish that David Cronenberg had directed this.

My other real problem with the movie is that, as brilliant as Ryan Gosling's performance is, it's very heavily interiorized, which means that there's very little external conflict. The drama of the film is basically watching Gosling's Lars and waiting for him to come around and get with the program, and there isn't really much in the way of external drama to affect him or shake him up properly, which I would call a dramatic failure. We observe Lars without ever really feeling what's going on in his head (so I guess he's got something in common with Frank Lucas, for me).

Finally, there's a common trope in movies about romantic loners where there's always an unrecognized romantic possibility just around the corner. It's kind of a lame cliche.

(PS: I saw this movie a month ago but I'm writing about it now because I haven't had enough time yet to fully process No Country for Old Men and have anything interesting to say about it except that it's nice to see the Coens back again and the ending is odd. More later.)


glimmer said...

was your using a picture of megan fox a crossover gag with the bit on the livingincinema page. about who had deader eyeys megan fox or the doll from the lars movie ????

*yes* !!!!!!!! :)

but let me take it abit further(that's what losers are for) having sex with megan would probably be like having sex with a real doll... ;)

and if the lars charcter *really* isn't having sex with doll. so the doll could be a stand in for all the females that aren't having sex with him ??? the difference being the doll understands him better ???? ;)

losers with real dolls i've to get to the cinema and see this. this week !!!! represent !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

and just when you thought ryan couldn't beat the segement in 'half nelson' when he was 'grinding' on the pre teen while dancing...well he's now dating a real doll awesome. go ryan... ;)

you can have you no country's and atonement's it obvious. lars and the real girl is the most *important* movie of the year... :)

cjKennedy said...

This is clearly the kind of movie that you fall for or you don't. Looking back at it after a couple of months and after having seen some of the best movies of the year, my initial response is a little embarassing.

I still think Lars is a very good movie, though the flaws are definitely there if you want to pick them up and look at them.

I've heard all the complaints and none of them bother me except for one thing that I've never heard anyone else mention:


The ending was just a little too pat. He went from graveside to the arms of the cute nerd girl way too quickly. Even though you knew as soon as you met her that that's what was going to happen, it felt rushed and therefore a bit dishonest.

****end spoiler****

Good call on the Megan Fox joke Glimmer. I totally missed that.

Jeff McMahon said...

I was hoping I could get away with repeating a gag. Maybe not.

glimmer said...

..nope, jeff we never forget the classics. :)

Actionman said...

I detested the script to Lars so maybe I'll check it out on dvd

Megan Fox isn't hot or anything like that...naahhh...