Lars and the Real Girl

Director: Craig Gillespie
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 1.0

Hollywood once again in Unhealthy Mode: a desperate neurotic (Ryan Gosling, working on his blinking technique) buys a Real Doll which he names Bianca, has conversations with and hauls around town (and to parties) in a wheelchair … but what's even more daffy is that the townspeople all basically accept this and treat her like she's real, too. It's too visually bleak and 'earthy' to be considered the "fantasy" screenwriter Nancy Oliver most likely intended this to be (in other words, it needed to get in touch with its inner Tim Burton) and it is desperately in need of some real-world psychology: the Gosling character is "movie crazy" (and curable, apparently, by love and acceptance) instead of "real life crazy" which would require counseling, medication and a lot of intervention. The person who actually keeps this bearable is Paul Schneider as Gosling's brother - his constant bewilderment at his brother's doll-love is the movie's redeeming facet. He's lucky I wasn't his therapist: the first sign of losing it is turning down Kelli Garner in favor of a $6,000 toy, and I have no qualms about throwing people in padded rooms.