Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Lars Has No Clothes

Damn it I love indie movies. Oh but did I mention I love them when they're not done as an excuse for sentimental tacky crap?
Angry Spoilers follow: In case this movie passed you by (oh how I envy you if it did) the story is about Lars (Ryan Gosling), a quiet, shy man who can't bear human contact decides to order himself a real doll and pretend that it's a real person he is dating, much to the chagrin of his brother (Paul Schneider) and the surprise of his sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer, who Lars is in love with secretly). Dr. Patricia Clarkson says the best thing for Lars is for people to treat Bianca like she's real. It should help pull Lars out of his delusion. I suppose Lars could probably recover with a few people playing to his delusion but the WHOLE TOWN DOES IT! Even when Lars ISN'T AROUND! I can understand doing it when he's there but to record a voice for her to read to school children (without Lars in attendance) is fucking MADNESS! The whole town should be thrown into the loony bin. Oh those poor children. Lars eventually redirects his affection to some cute co-worker played by Kelli Garner (one of Di Caprio's chippies in The Aviator) and allows the doll to die (there is a an emergency trip to the hospital and a funeral and EVREYTHING).

Fuck Lars. Fuck the real girl. And fuck that town full of enablers. It's an infantile solution to an infantile problem, a problem that is treated like some giant revelation when in fact is abundantly clear in the film's FIRST SCENE. OK, we get it, you love your brother's wife, grow a pair and DEAL WITH IT! What an absolute load. Oh I get it, it's charming at how we're all meant to "believe" in Bianca, Lars' new plastic companion. How the miracle of advanced new-fangled psychology combined with hokey Capra-esque values bring Lars to genuine understanding and coping with his emotions. I get it. But it just doesn't work. Not for one minute. Maybe if we saw Lars when he was better at the beginning. Maybe, I don't know, I don't want to backseat direct this thing, but damn it. How is it that people couldn't WAIT to line up and shit on Juno but this film is somehow beloved? Don't think I'm without sentiment, I'm bursting at the seams waiting to meet Wall-E, I believe that Superman cannot lie (Clark Kent on the other hand...) and I get teary when Mr. Smith filibusters in Washington. But don't expect for a minute to swallow this shit in a rolo-wrapper.

I still don't see what the big deal is with Ryan Gosling, I think Emile Hirsch and Joseph Gordon Levitt are a whole lot more interesting "up and coming" actors. Emily Mortimer does do a fine American accent and David Gordon Green regular Paul Schneider is great (although his character's attitude to the whole proceeding most echoed my own). It helps that he gets an excellent bit of writing about what it means to be an adult (the saving grace of the movie for me). Kelli Garner is doing a sort of mash-up of ADubs in Junebug and Natalie Portman in Garden State, she's cute but sometimes tips into cloying. The direction is low key and nicely compliments the earnest (but frankly credibility stretching) script, which is well structured enough that I was pleased as Lars made gradual process (because I knew the movie was closer to being over). So really EVERYONE in the town goes along with it and eventually grows to love Bianca? Ugh. No wonder people hate Hollywood. It kind of reminded me of that Mr. Show sketch about Entitilitus, where people who are expected to die get heaps of praise for things they do badly, the thing about Entitilitus is that it can take somewhere between 50-70 years to kick in. This is a movie riddle with Entitilitus.


c_henry802 said...

great rant. i had this movie in the back of my mind, but after seeing it on roeper's worst ten movies of 2007, and reading this, i think ill skip it.

neonspecs said...

YES. haha. I saw this movie at a sneak peek on campus and the whole time I was just "WHAT?!" I don't remember the context but there was one part where I said a little too loudly to my friend, "What, Does she have a fever?" haha.

Anyways, I don't know anything about Hirsch but people like Gosling better than JGL because he is beautiful (although not so beautiful in this movie). Plus, he was Young Hercules! hahaha. JGL was at my job all the time last year and he just ain't that good looking. I did love Brick, however.

elaine said...

glad i read this before watching it online!