Lars and the Real Girl

| Mon Nov. 26, 2007 9:35 PM EST
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The second the credits started rolling after a recent showing of the film Lars and the Real Girl, my friend turned to me and said, "That was the most boring film I've ever seen in my life. I fell asleep, like, five times."

Boring? I disagree. The film creeps along at a slow pace, but can you tell the story of an extremely sensitive, emotionally wrecked young man whose platonic relationship with a blow-up doll helps him get over the death of his mother and social anxieties at a fast pace? You could, but it probably would have to star Will Ferrell and be directed by Judd Apatow.

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This film, starring Ryan Gosling and directed by newcomer Craig Gillespie, is an earnest, sincere, and often sappy tale of a small Midwest town transformed by one man's real "relationship" with a fake person. It is hokey (the older, wiser women of the town sitting in a knitting circle wearing sweaters and offering casseroles and their undying support when Gosling's character is depressed), and it is, at times, a tear-jerker (lots of close-ups of a misty-eyed, red-faced Gosling as he comes to terms with his inner self), but it's also funny (Gosling getting into "arguments" with his doll).

The movie feels like an art-house film for the family: It's quirky and character-driven, but it's also, in the end, a feel-good flick about good people doing good things for each other. Boring? Maybe. Depends who you ask, or what mood you're in when you see it. Cheesy? A little. Worth watching if you're into small-budget films with mostly unknown actors forming friendships with a plastic woman purchased on the Internet? Yup.