Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lars and the Real Girl

I had the pleasure of reading Nancy Oliver's script way back when and I remember the intense enjoyment I got from just the word on the page. I know what you're thinking, "Hey Julie, pick up a book sometime", but it's just so rare these days to have a such a visceral happy response to an extremely well crafted script. So when it came time to finally see the movie, it was going to have to do a great job of overcoming my already uber high expectations for it. Luckily for both parties involved, it did.

One of my all time favorite movies that I could watch repeatedly and never tire of (you know, the deserted island DVD) is HARVEY. Jimmy Stewart's performance is heartwarming, realistically fantastical, and subtle. It's the universal question of what makes someone crazy vs. our "sanity" - and more importantly how their insanity reflects on our own struggles in this crazy world.

Ryan Gosling's performance is so precise, so understated, and so tortured, that it's impossible to not leave this movie a more observant person that when you came in. I wouldn't dare compare Ryan to Jimmy, they are different entities and, well, I'm just not ready to think anyone can beat Jimmy at the game. However, I will say that when it comes to evoking an emotional response from just "being" on the screen, he ranks up there with the best of em.

LARS is the story of a young man so despondent, so depressed, and so lonely, that he decides to order a Real Doll to fill his empty void. His brother and sister in law are a mix of emotions - both ecstatic that Lars has decided to come out of his shell, but horrified at the fantasy that comes along with it. In other words, the Real Doll is Lars' white rabbit - only her ability to be seen makes it even harder for those trying to not let the inmate run the asylum.

I won't go into story synopsis here, I hate reading those, and more than that someone always gives away too much of the story. So I leave it with you to see the movie and hopefully have a fun time getting to play in Lars' world, even though the glaring reality of life threatens and surrounds him. Getting the chance to appreciate what we have and understanding that we could all do with a little more make believe in our lives is a priceless gift. It's also one we've been afforded before - ALICE IN WONDERLAND, BEING THERE, HARVEY, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY are just a sliver of examples where Coo-Coo Crazy mixes with Eccentric mixes with Sad. In the end we're all just lonely people looking for someone to bring out the best in us, otherwise it's no fun to be our amazing selves, all by ourselves.

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