Lars and the Real Girl
August 13, 2008 review
I don't remember who mentioned Lars and the Real Girl so praisingly, but I do remember requesting it from the library. It finally arrived, and my wife and I decided to sit down and watch this comedy last night. We both resolved that if it was too lame, either of us could call "Abort" on it - we did not want another repeat of Idiocracy.
We watched it straight through.
Lars and the Real Girl is funny. Laugh out loud funny, at times. But it's not cheap, dumb laughs. They're smart - and kind - laughs.
The style perfectly walks that fine line between compassion and saccharine. I kept thinking: "Well, that's a subtle touch," but they weren't. The development of Lars - and all the other characters as well - weren't subtle, but they were presented softly, skillfully.
The notes of mental illness, parental loss, and childbirth are all there - but again, all are treated skillfully, and with compassion.
People who have seen a lot of recent "indie" movies may find themselves unimpressed with the soundtrack. The opening sequence, in particular, could be swapped with quite a few "indie" films. The deliberate lack of a steadycam for a few shots becomes jarringly noticeable. But these attempts to add indie cred are almost completely overwhelmed by the excellent story and stellar acting.
[Note: Idiocracy had a great premise - it just should have been a 30 to 45 minute show, not a 90 minute one, so it became extremely painful to watch.]