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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lars and the Real Girl

LarsAt the suggestion of several of you, I finally watched Lars and the Real Girl over the weekend. If you've never seen it, it's about a lonely man named Lars who develops a delusion in the form of a life-sized doll he orders online. Her name is Bianca and in Lars' mind, she couldn't be more real.

The first two-thirds of the movie, Lars' friends and family can't help but struggle to accept Bianca. But slowly, the begin to accept her because they love Lars and by doing so, they give him the support he needs to face his internal demons – loneliness, not wanting to be touched by anyone and the pain of never knowing his mom, who died during his birth.

As they accept him, he begins to change. I love one particular scene in which Lars is in the lunchroom at work, sitting across from a co-worker named Margo, who has eyes for him. He has eyes for her too, but he just can't bring himself to act. As they sit across from one another, Margo is upset. She's just broken up with her boyfriend and a co-worker has put a noose around her teddy bear's neck and declared him dead.

Margo begins to tell Lars why she broke up with her boyfriend while Lars begins to check the pulse of the teddy bear. Margo looks up, with tears in her eyes as Lars puts his head close to the teddy bear's nose to see if it is breathing.

Margo  smiles and places her hand over her mouth.

Lars begins doing CPR to bring the bear back to life, during which he asks Margo why she chose her boyfriend.

"I get lonely." Margo looks the other way – too vulnerable to look Lars in the eyes.

Lars continues his work on the teddy bear, saving its life.

Margo laughs and thanks him.

"Hey, what are you doing Friday, night?" she says.

"Um, ah, I have this school board meeting," Lars says. "Bianca got elected, so …"

"That's great!"


That scene sets the stage for their first date and ultimately, a step toward healing for Lars. You can't help but wonder what might have happened to him if the people around him hadn't loved and accepted him. And after you are done watching the movie, you can't help but wonder if you are loving those around you in the fashion Lars' friends loved him.


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