I get it! Lars has a pervasive developmental disorder and that is funny. Lars and the Real Girl taps two rich, under-utilized comedic goldmines. Really, what is more hilarious than a socially awkward delusional guy and rural Northerners, what with their frumpy cloths and their simple living. Why, it’s Asperger’s Syndrome in the heart of Lake Woebegon.
Look, this film is cute and quirky. It puts a semi-original spin on the boy meets girl story. In this case it is boy orders fake plastic girl, boy loses fake plastic girl, boy gets real girl. Still, unless you are looking to land a real girl of your own, this movies is drivel best reserved for a date night.
Oh how great and rewarding it would have to to use this premise to force people to question the true meaning of love or caring for another. Oh how harrowing it could have been had at presented us with a troubled character, dealing with a crippling issue like Asperger’s. Instead, we get a dressed down dramedy, with good looking actors playing salt of the Earth characters pulled right from the frozen, offbeat soils that sprouted half the folk in Fargo.
Real love and real pervasive developmental disorders are not this simple or this quaint. To see the heart-shattering truth of this matter I would highly recommend Finally, Lillian and Dan or even James Mangold’s first feature film, Heavy, over Lars and the Real Girl.