Arts and Entertainment

The new “mail order bride”

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Erica Rose
There are many sources where one could find or receive love. We attain affection and adoration from spouses, children, friends, cousins and even animals.
Yet, what if one man defies the rules of society and decides to love someone, or something else? What if one man declares the unthinkable and shocks an innocent community by falling absolutely, passionately, head-over-heals in love with a sex doll?
Yet Lars and the Real Girl is not a movie about sex or any kind of kinky fetish. In fact, the movie portrays a special kind of intimacy without sexual intercourse.
The movie, directed by relative newcomer Craig Gillespie, stars Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Half-Nelson) as the abnormally shy character Lars. Lars is constantly anxious about his surroundings and the people around him.
Lars lives in a ragged shack behind the cozy, homey house of his brother, Gus, and Gus’s wife Karin. Paul Schneider plays Gus, a distance brother who feels confused and scared about Lars’ incapability of normal or real human interaction.
Lars’s friend Kurt introduces Lars to the mysterious world of life-size sex dolls. Lars, speechless and intimidated, passively notes on the impeccable detail of the dolls.
In the very next scene we see a giant wooden box delivered to Lars’ shack. In the box is his soul-mate, Bianca. Bianca has long black hair and originally wears a metallic top with fish net stockings.
Yet Lars looks pasts her seemingly whoreish looks and treats her as a sophisticated lady. Lars treats Bianca like a person, coddling, caressing, and kissing her. Lars and Bianca have in depth conversations that can last for hours, yet, of course, all we see is Lars speaking and Bianca listening.
When Lars introduces Bianca to Gus and Karin. They are initially shocked and perplexed. They bring Lars to Dagmar, the town’s doctor/psychologist played by Patricia Clarkson. Dagmar stresses to the worrisome couple that Bianca is in fact real, and that they should treat her like a person, active and thriving in the community.
At first, Bianca’s presence astounds and petrifies the people in the quiet town. Yet slowly, both Bianca and Lars become accepted in the atmosphere. Women flock to cut Bianca’s hair, dress her, and bathe her. For Lars’ enjoyment, men pretend to be jealous of him, saying how beautiful and gracious Bianca is.
Though Bianca is merely a sex doll, she is anything but fake. Lars’ infatuation with Bianca exploits his inner fears and demons by bringing out secrets that Lars had been hiding from both himself and from his family. Lars can only connect with society and his loved ones through Bianca. Bianca strips away Lars’ fear of expressing his true emotions and trepidations to others.
Lars and the Real Girl is the freshest, most innovative movie of the year. The film contrasts simple themes, such as isolation, fear, and love with abnormal, humorous circumstances like relationships with sex dolls.
Lars and the Real Girl is not just a movie about an insecure man finding himself through a sex doll. The film makes the viewers question the line between reality and fantasy.
Bianca’s commercial purpose is for fantasy, the fantasy of being with a beautiful woman of any man’s dreams. Yet, Lars uses her to create a realistic relationship, one he could never obtain by himself. Without Bianca, Lars is nothing, neither genuine nor real. It takes an inanimate object to bring out Lars’ true self.

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