[Screen It]

 

"LARS AND THE REAL GIRL"
(2007) (Ryan Gosling, Paul Schneider) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Moderate Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A socially awkward young man's family, friends and community react to him suddenly introducing a full-sized, anatomically correct sex doll as his girlfriend.
PLOT:
Lars Lindstrom (RYAN GOSLING) is a socially awkward young man who lives in the garage apartment adjacent to the home where his brother, Gus (PAUL SCHNEIDER), and his pregnant wife, Karin (EMILY MORTIMER), reside. Lars pretty much keeps to himself, avoiding Karin's invitations to join them for dinner, as well as the ever-so-slight romantic interest displayed by one his coworkers, Margo (KELLI GARNER), all while making others question his sexuality.

Perhaps in response to that, as well as a need to deal with the inner turmoil troubling him, Lars comes up with a unique solution: he gets himself a girlfriend. And not just any girl, but Bianca, a half Brazilian, half Danish, paraplegic missionary who's on a break from helping others.

The only issue is that she's just a full-sized, anatomically correct sex doll that he's ordered off the Internet. Yet, he doesn't view her in that context and truly seems to think she's real, and thus is ever the gentleman to her. That includes bringing Bianca to dinner with Gus and Karin, and then asking if she can stay with them as it wouldn't be appropriate for her to stay in his apartment.

For Gus, this is about the last straw in terms of dealing with his odd brother, but Karin plays along, realizing something else must be going on. That's a diagnosis shared by Dagmar (PATRICIA CLARKSON), a local doctor and therapist. Realizing she must move gently, Dagmar convinces Lars that Bianca needs continued treatment, and thus gets to probe his psyche during those medical sessions.

Her advice to his family and the rest of the community is that everyone also play along, which is what they do. Accordingly, they give him the support and love he needs to work through his issues, all as his "relationship" with Bianca progresses through the normal stages, and becomes quite popular around town.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The "sex doll" part of the description might pique the interest of some boys, but beyond that and/or someone being a fan of anyone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sex-related content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RYAN GOSLING plays a socially awkward young man who believes that a sex doll he's ordered is his real-life girlfriend. Obviously troubled, he unconsciously uses her to work through his issues, all while finding himself somewhat drawn to Margo.
  • PAUL SCHNEIDER plays his brother who's always known there's something off about Lars, and Bianca cements that feeling. At the same time, he reluctantly goes along with the relationship bit, not only because others encourage that, but also due to feeling guilty about having abandoned his younger brother with their grieving father so many years ago. He uses some brief profanity.
  • EMILY MORTIMER plays his pregnant wife who also goes along with pretending that Bianca is real, all to help Lars.
  • PATRICIA CLARKSON plays the local doctor and therapist who gently works with Lars, trying to find out what deep-rooted issue is the cause for his new behavior.
  • KELLI GARNER plays a somewhat nerdy coworker who takes a liking to Lars.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (much of it concerning a full-sized, anatomically correct sex doll) is present. That doll is seen and mostly is dressed (except for a brief bathing scene where its bare butt is seen), but is never used sexually (although briefly seen advertisements for its kind suggest just that).

    Despite knowing it's not real, some viewers might be upset when the doll gets "sick," while some bad attitudes and tense family material are present. Various people drink at a party, while one person briefly smokes.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film, some shakier than others.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink beer at a party, where Lars and Bianca show up with a bottle of wine for the host. Lars ask for a beer, and states that Bianca does not drink and doesn't like him to, but that he's going to have just that one beer. He later offers to get a woman some wine, while we see others still drinking, including Lars' coworker.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Gus initially thinks his younger brother is crazy and doesn't show him much compassion, but he quickly comes around to helping Lars.
  • An older woman ask Lars if he is gay, saying she knows all about the gays, but he says he isn't one (the woman is not being mean with her questioning, but does tell him to find a nice girl).
  • Various townspeople gossip about Lars and his doll, but most eventually come around to helping the young man get through his issues.
  • About Bianca, one man says he wishes he had a woman who didn't talk.
  • A person at a party refers to Bianca as a slutty hunk of silicone, and a woman ask if Lars has sex with that doll. When another person replies yes, that's what they are for, the first woman reacts in disgust. Moments later, a guy tells Lars that Bianca is a "total babe," and then asks if she is flexible. Lars does not answer that question, but his coworker does in the affirmative.
  • Lars has several verbal flights with Bianca (of course, we only hear his side, as hers is in his head).
  • In a bit of tit-for-tat between Lars' coworker and Margo, we see that the former has taken the latter's stuffed bear and put a nose around its neck.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Spoiler Alert: Although we and everyone else in the film knows that Bianca is a doll, it might still be disturbing when we see Lars on top of her in bed, panicked that he can't wake her. That also holds true for news that Bianca is dying, and then him later holding her body in a lake, obviously distraught. That's followed by a funeral scene for the doll.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Slutty hunk of silicone," "Just chillax," "Totally insane," "What the hell is he doing with a delusion?" "Nuts" (crazy), "I would have freaked," "Total babe," "Beat the crap out of us" and "I'll kick your butt" (said playfully).
  • In a bit of tit-for-tat between Lars' coworker and Margo, we see that the former has taken the latter's stuffed bear and put a nose around its neck.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 3 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "For Christ's sake."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • An older woman ask Lars if he is gay, saying she knows all about the gays, but he says he isn't one (the woman is not being mean with her questioning, but does tell him to find a nice girl).
  • Lars coworker tells him he has to see something on his computer, but Lars says he's not in the mood for porn. The coworker says it isn't porn, but then says that it is, which is when we realize he is looking at a website where one can design one's own sex doll. That coworker comments on some part of a doll's body being so hard, and then adds that you can design your own woman and that they are anatomically correct. During this, some dolls and related advertising are seen on the computer screen, but nothing that is explicit.
  • Karin sneaks a peek up under the doll's shirt, and has a shocked expression on her face as a result (meaning the doll is anatomically correct, but we don't see anything).
  • Gus looks up the sex doll company on his computer, and hears various audio sales pitches for the product. That includes the narrator saying that one doll is unsatisfied as a woman, while another needs a cowboy to tame the wild filly (referring to the doll). During this, we see several pictures of various sex dolls dressed in various fashions, including one where we see a partial view of her panties.
  • Various townspeople gossip about Lars and his doll, with one woman saying she didn't know there were sex dolls, with another correcting her that they are called love dolls. One then says if that means she has a vagina, but makes a noise rather than say that (and upon hearing that the doll does, the woman adds then she is one of the girls). Another scene features two men talking about the doll, but in a foreign language, although one man's gesture obviously shows he is talking about the doll's breasts.
  • Lars does not view Bianca is a sex doll, but instead sees her as his girlfriend.
  • We see Karin and Gus bathing Bianca the doll, and when they let the doll fall face first into the water, we see the doll's bare butt.
  • A receptionist shows a little cleavage.
  • A person at a party refers to Bianca as a slutty hunk of silicone, and a woman ask if Lars has sex with that doll. When another person replies yes, that's what they are for, the first woman reacts in disgust. Moments later, a guy tells Lars that Bianca is a "total babe," and then asks if she is flexible. Lars does not answer that question, but his coworker does in the affirmative.
  • From a distance we see Karin rubbing her bare pregnant belly.
  • Lars asks Gus when he knew he had become a man, adding if it was when he had sex. Gus stumbles a bit for an answer, saying yes, then no, adding that he doesn't really know.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous person smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • About their dad, Lars says that the man didn't want anyone around, but Gus disputes that, at least referring to when their mom was alive. He does agree, however, that their father changed after their mother's death.
  • Gus initially thinks his younger brother is crazy and doesn't show him much compassion, but he quickly comes around to helping Lars.
  • Dagmar states that her husband died in the past, that she has no children, and that she can't have any of her own.
  • We briefly see Lars take Bianca to a cemetery where he awkwardly waves to a grave (presumably that of his mother and/or father).
  • We hear that Lars' mother died while giving birth to him, thus making him nervous about Karin's current pregnancy.
  • Gus feels guilty over leaving Lars many years ago with their widowed father, thinking that's the cause of Lars now acting delusional.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Sex dolls.
  • An older woman ask Lars if he is gay, saying she knows all about the gays, but he says he isn't one (the woman is not being mean with her questioning, but does tell him to find a nice girl).
  • Dagmar says that Lars is delusional, and that his view of Bianca is some sort of coping mechanism. Accordingly, she tells Karin and Gus to go along with the act.
  • The definition of a hallucination versus a delusion.
  • The fact that Lars thinks that hugs hurt like a burn.
  • We hear that Lars' mother died while giving birth to him, thus making him nervous about Karin's current pregnancy.
  • The fact that most everyone in town plays along with behaving as if Bianca is real, all to help Lars work through his inner turmoil.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Trying to convince Lars to come to dinner, Karin ends up tackling him to the ground (played for comedy).



  • Reviewed October 10, 2007 / Posted October 26, 2007

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.