The Cult Classic: Lars and the Real Girl 8 years ago

The Cult Classic: Lars and the Real Girl

Ryan Gosling seems to have it all - looks, body, talent and hot leading ladies. But how did he get here?

by Genna Patterson

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By working against his boy-band looks and initially taking on roles in independent movies in favour of blockbusters, that’s how. Of course now you may know him as the guy from Drive or Crazy Stupid Love but before he went mainstream, he was fond of working on dark movies such as Half Nelson and Lars and The Real Girl.

Essentially Lars and the Real Girl is a movie about a socially awkward guy - Lars - who orders a life-size doll from the Internet. Sounds pervy, right? Strangely no; instead we see Lars is just lonely and unable to talk to "real" girls. He names the doll Bianca and introduces her to his brother and sister-in-law, and then the whole town. The town oddly enough agrees to pretend that Bianca is real - Bianca even gets a job as a model in a clothes store.

While its not laugh out loud/gag funny, the underlying tone of the movie leans toward mild amusement. Its also quite touching and heartfelt, showing the lengths a community will go to in order to help one of their own. With Bianca by his side, Lars grows confident and socially adapted (despite his delusion). Expect quite a few quirky moments though, like when Bianca goes to church.

Writer Nancy Oliver (Six Feet Under) and director Craig Gillespie (Fright Night) manage to create a darkly funny movie that’s also a bit sad. While it didn’t do that well at the box office, it was critically acclaimed. Lars and the Real Girl was also Oscar nominated for ‘Best Writing’, while Gosling was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the Golden Globes and the Oscars.