Sdtrk: ‘Sister Ray’ by the Velvet Underground
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this.
Nice boots, missy
Written by Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl is a heartfelt comedy starring Academy-Award nominated Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of what is almost solitude, he invites Bianca, a friend he met on the internet to visit him. He introduces Bianca to his Brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and his wife Karen (Emily Mortimer) and they are stunned. They don’t know what to say to Lars or Bianca – because she is a life-size doll, not a real person and he is treating her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson) who explains this is a delusion he’s created – for what reason she doesn’t yet know but they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional journey for Lars and the people around him.
Hm. Hrrrm. On the surface, it sounds like a cross between French black comedy ‘Monique‘, and Luis García Berlanga’s ‘Tamaño natural‘. Granted, though, there aren’t a lot of Doll-related feature films to really compare it to; ‘Love object’ doesn’t count, as it’s hardly sympathetic towards iDollators.
There are two main problems I might have with this film.
1) As I was lamenting to New Best Blogger Friend barstowmama (she’s linked, y’know), the trend in popular media ‘culture’ is that whenever a person is given a choice between a Synthetik partner and an Organik one, by the end of the film, the script will have him choose the Organik, having completely forsaken the Synthetik that he was completely happy with before (see ‘Cherry 2000‘ for a prime example, or this music video by Lim Jeong Hee). As professional photographer Elena Dorfman once commented, love can take many forms — just because someone’s partner is artificial doesn’t make the partnership less valid, which is what popular culture doesn’t seem to understand.
2) Society has a vibrating neurosis about people being happy introverts. Extroverts seem to believe that the only good experiences are shared amongst the company of others, which is patently false. Granted, it’s obvious that a person can have fun with others, just not all the time. They don’t understand that not everyone is a go-gettin’ Type-A personality — some people happen to like it quiet and calm. Extroverts are particularly nosey, and seem to be almost offended when introverts want to keep to themselves. ‘How can he be happy if he’s inside all the time by himself?’ Sure, there are people who actually want to reach out and just don’t know how to go about it, but there are others who have done that, didn’t particularly like what they saw, and decided to stick with what they know.
This film says to me we are going to drag you kicking and screaming into the outside world, whether you like it or not, cos that’s what we think is what’s best for you, which is reprehensible. Speaking for myself, I enjoy hanging around people I’m friends with, but large groups of people — especially ones I don’t really know — kinda freak me out, mainly cos I don’t know what they’re pondering. It’s not as if I dress, speak or act like the common herd, and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that most people don’t really like what they see. Trying to ‘fit in’ isn’t an option any more than getting enormous crowds of people to switch over to my way of thinking, so I prefer to keep to myself or amongst those who I’m familiar with.
From the trailer, Lars alternately seems okay with being out and about, or fearful of leaving his house, but that’s like two different types of introverts rolled into one character. Some are shut-ins due to fear, but others simply don’t want to leave the house cos they know they don’t have to deal with people’s rampant shitwickery.
(I owe a debt, as always, to fellow iDollator and hard-working scribe PB Shelley, for recommending Anneli Rufus’ fantastic book, ‘Party of one: the Loner’s Manifesto‘, as reading and re-reading it has gotten me through some difficult periods…)
One thing’s for certain, however — Bianca is definitely a hottie. Anyone wanting to abandon someone like her would have to be delusional.
(insert typical tongue-rolling sound here)
In fact, she looks like she’s a Leah-type RealDoll; at the very least, she definitely has the Face 4, and as short as she looks, she’s probably got the Body 2. Probably tweaked a bit for the film, but I’d recognise that face anywhere, as that’s what Shi-chan is. I’m not normally a betting man, but I think once the film comes out, there’ll be a handful of orders placed with Abyss to make a Doll that ‘looks just like the Doll in “Lars and the Real Girl”‘. And with good reason!
Like I said, I’ll pass proper judgement when I see it, but as it’s a Hollywood production, I’m visualising Bianca getting the shaft in the end. No, not like that — get your minds out of the gutter
Random similar posts, for more timewasting:
The Geordie Film Experience, Part II on July 11th, 2006