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Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

"Before viewing" talks introduce the film without spoilers. Watch it, then click on the "After viewing" talk for more. More»» by Randy Heffner

Why the film is worth your time

Lars and the Real Girl asks big “what if” questions about how we, the “normal”, might love those with mental illness. It would be easy for the film to take the premise over the top into staged gags and crude jokes, but it doesn’t. It is both serious and lighthearted, and always respectful of the characters. The screenplay, performances, directing, and cinematography are excellent. Running time: 106 min.

Lars is, shall we say, emotionally challenged. He finds relationships extremely difficult. His brother and sister-in-law want him to get out more. He does start dating someone, Bianca, but she’s not at all the type of girl they expected. She came in the mail. Literally. Lars and Bianca’s relationship causes a stir in the town, and many don’t know what to do. His brother wonders who’s to blame. Assumptions and prejudices abound, and the main question is, “What is going on with Lars and Bianca?”

Lars orders Bianca from a sex doll web site, which leads to a few related references in the film.

  • Director: Craig Gillespie
  • Screenplay: Nancy Oliver
  • Leads: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson, Nancy Beatty, Kelli Garner, Bianca
  • Cinematography: Adam Kimmel


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"After viewing" talks assume that you have seen the film. They will contain spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

How the film enriched and changed me

For me, the impact of Lars and the Real Girl went beyond the film’s top-line theme of forbearance and love in the face another’s mental illness. I came away thinking also

Read the rest of this entry »

Screenshots and dialog copyright © 2007 by the filmmakers.


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NOTE: It is okay to have spoilers in comments on After viewing talks — no warnings necessary.

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