May 22, 2008
Netflix DVD
English / Spanish
106 Minutes
Comedy / Drama
Craig Gillespie

The Search For True Love Begins Outside The Box.

I really wanted to love this one. But I didn’t. The writer has mentioned that she wrote this based on the idea of what would happen if a town reacted to a mental illness with compassion instead of ridicule. Lars is so messed up mentally that he sits up on his bed all night, hides from everyone, including his own family, and won’t interact with the cute girl at work who is all but throwing herself at him. He won’t eat dinner next door at his brother’s house. One day he shows up with a Real Doll, one of those lifelike, expensive sex dolls that prove that we have a long way to go before either men or women can be replaced by technology. After initial “my brother is looney” type conversations, the town–I mean the whole town–goes along with Lars’ psychosis. They offer his doll, now called Bianca, jobs, haircuts, knitting circles, dances. Everything. Not a single person calls the rest of the town out. How about some hospitalization? How about sending Lars to a specialist instead of a do-it-all doctor played perfectly by Patricia Clarkson? The idea of someone so afraid of human contact that he’d rather cart around a doll as his lover is very compelling. But the tone was all wrong–one minute a madcap comedy, the next a dark film about childhood trauma.

There have been several documentaries on this same topic. And these people who have shunned real humans for dolls are incredibly intriguing subjects. But they are not exactly normal. They themselves say as much. I’d rather watch another one of those documentaries than LARS AND THE REAL GIRL.

I’d hoped for so much better.

7.0 Metacritic
7.7 IMDB


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Written by Michael W. Cummins