Lars and the Real Girl is definitely in my Top 10 of favorite movies.
I had never heard of this film starring Ryan Gosling until Rick and I went to Hollywood on a mission trip with our church.
Yeah, you read that correctly, but that’s a post for another time.
Lars was not only the first atypical movie I had ever seen but it changed how I viewed movies. If you read the back of the DVD cover, the movie is described as a story about a sweet, quirky guy who thinks he’s found the girl of his dreams in a life-sized doll named “Bianca”. Which is true, but that’s really not what the story is about.
After I watched the movie for the first time, a friend (who’s also a screenwriter and director) asked me to sum up what the movie was about and gave me a clue, “You’re told what it’s about in the first scene.”
I was stumped. Clearly, there was more than meets the eye.
So we watched the opening scene again which takes place in a church during a service. The camera pans over to Lars and we hear the pastor’s voice off screen teaching “love your neighbor as yourself.”
And that’s what Lars is about. Everyone in Lars’ life is loving him through all aspects of his life, even when he can’t see it or allow himself to receive it. They don’t understand him. They get angry. They try to fix him but at the end of the day, they just love him.
And that is what makes the difference.
I watch this movie every year when I need to restore my hope in humanity.
And it’s time for another viewing.