The initial footage for Lars and the Real Girl, which came out last month, presented a quirky, jaw-dropping world where Ryan Gosling gets a Real Doll to cure his loneliness. It looked to be a strange, black, indie comedy -- lots of laughs and possible lasciviousness. But that just skims the surface of this film, and to call it a comedy is to ignore the profound depth of Craig Gillespie's feature. While the title insinuates that it's a wacky comedy, it's actually a smart, well-crafted, and heart-wrenching film that smoothly discusses the intricacies of loss and depression. It has many humorous moments, but they serve to relieve tension, not drive the story.
Lars is a young man who spent much of his life alone with his widower father. When his dad finally passed on, his brother, Gus (Paul Schneider), moved home with his wife, Karin (Emily Mortimer). With his brother back and his father gone, Lars retreated not only to the garage, but further into himself. Karin, however, is determined to break Lars out of his shell and get him involved in the family. It is obvious that he cares about them, but at the same time, he uses any excuse possible to avoid Karin's invitations.