Discovering Lars

Late the other night, after getting back from seeing a terrific play, we were sitting up in the living room flipping through channels and came across a movie (already in progress.) Lars and the Real Girl. A silly movie from a few years ago about a loner who buys a sex doll and believes her to be his girlfriend. (And it’s a chaste relationship.) What we landed on was toward the end of the movie….it looked sort of  interesting. I wasn’t exactly in the mood for a movie, and it was getting kind of late. But, since cable tv today has a million and one channels and half-a-million on demand items, we went looking for it and found it.

“Let’s just watch the beginning,” he says.

Two hours later the dog is completely crashed on the couch, I’m having another nightcap, wiping away tears and saying, “That was really good.”

This is one of those movies that wasn’t marketed for what it was. I recall its trailers a few years ago as seeming to be some quirky, comedy. You know, like “with a heart.” But definitely some oddball humor at its core and as its main ingredient. While all that may be true—there is oddball humor and it is funny and it is quirky—its really a wonderful and touching portrayal of mental illness, and with some very fine acting too.

Lars’ brother struggles with the whole thing and then feels guilty and responsible for Lars’ mental disintegration:

“It’s all my fault, I left him here all alone and then we move back all fat and happy and he moves in to to the garage like the family dog.”

I love experiencing moments so genuinely portrayed they take your breath away.

And I love discovering that I really enjoy something when I didn’t expect to so much.


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