Lars and the Real Girl

Mental illness and a blow-up doll

A film where a mentally ill man falls in love with a blow-up doll. It must be a Farrelly Brothers comedy right? Probably starring Ben Stiller? Well actually no.

Written by Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver, Lars And The Real Girl is a touching drama that steers well clear of crass humour and cynicism. So far so sickly. But where this could have come off as pure cheese, Lars And The Real Girl manages to remain funny at the same time as being heart-wrenchingly sad. In the title role that matches his amazing turn as troubled teacher Dan Dunne in Half Nelson, Ryan Gosling further confirms his status as his generation’s best actor. What could have been a frustrating character actually turns out to be a wonderfully empathic one. If you see one blow-up doll tearjerker this year make it this.

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