Sonia, Lars, and the Real Girl

A few weekends ago I watched a movie called Lars and the Real Girl. Its a different movie. Very different. But quite clever. Ryan Gosling’s character is a little loopy in the ahead and very aloof. That is, until he orders a life sized doll named Bianca who he begins to seriously date. And interact with. Seriously.

The reaction of this small northern town is surprisingly positive. Different folks have different reactions, but overall there is a beautiful picture of community. I highly recommend this movie. Its even fairly clean as far as I can remember.

However a few thoughts ran through my mind throughout this clever, yet bizarre movie: is it loving to go along with something that is simply not true (a doll being real)? If I were a bit messed up in the head (a bit MORE messed up than I am now) and I brought home a doll for a fishing partner (I’m already married so let’s nix that scenario) would you go along with it? Would there be certain circumstances which would mitigate certain responses? Would it be loving to go along with it for a certain time? Indefinitely? Forever? Would you suspend the truth for a time-if I couldn’t handle the truth at that time-and patiently bear with my idiosyncrasy?

Just some thoughts which popped into my head. If you’ve seen the movie, please respond. Even if you haven’t, go for it. But I do highly recommend it, for whatever that recommendation is worth. Even Christianity Today ranked it among their top 10 redeeming movies of 2007. Click here to read a review.

And if your name is Sonia, and haven’t seen the baby pictures, click here.

8 thoughts on “Sonia, Lars, and the Real Girl

  1. Zero comments? Whoa! Have so few people seen this movie?Clever? Yes. Strange? Absolutely. A picture of community? Yes. But I have to question the extent to which the whole community was content to go along with the delusion. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but there is a pastor who, well, goes well beyond what I would be willing to do. But if we remove our insistence on realism here and simply look at the extent to which a community was willing to make sacrifices in order to make one of its own feel a part and to function, then it is a challenge to the church. Most of the people I’m called upon to deal with in the Christian community are not as far off the charts as this guy, and yet am I willing to sacrifice just a little to accommodate their idiosyncrasies? Sometimes I think that I am not, and in that this movie is a challenge to me.I’m with Geoff on this one. Watch the movie. I would love to know what others think.PS Emily Mortimer is one of my favorite actresses. Here character in this movie is very endearing.

  2. I am finally able to chime in on this one… I could not agree with both you geoff on this movie and along with you randy on your perspective. I once heard a guy respond to a guy who said his wife was really controlling had to be “broken” like a horse. The other guy said no you have it all wrong. You are to love her like Christ loved the church. I think in relationships I tend to error on the side of change NOW so my life will be easier and not I am going to love you where you are and trust that God is making you more like Jesus. I want people to be right but people aren’t right and this leaves me frustrated because there is a sense in which we all have our dolls (if you will) that other people have to respond to and we the same with others. this is why gospel community can be the most diverse community in the world. of course the response (in love)plays out differently in different situations. could I go along with the doll and would that be loving? I don’t think so and I do think so. (i must be a politician) the guys illness required time and couldn’t be fixed overnight. So, is sanctification. Jesus restores that which is broken. The great thing about the movie is the people thinking they are ministering to Lars end up being the ones ministered to and changed. this is a ramble Next movie review… There Will be blood.I would love to hear a pastors response to this movie (slow but brilliant in my opinion)

  3. Ande,I’m not really sure what you are saying here, so I can’t really comment on this. I’m glad some folks finally responded, because this is an interesting movie.I talked about the movie with a friend a few nights ago, and he challenged me to look at the doll as a caricature. All in all, the picture was of a community that was incredibly patient with a confused person. They didn’t try to fix him. But if they continued perpetuating the delusion forever, then I wonder how loving that would really be.Yet Jesus was quite patient with confused folks like his disciples. Yet he did not hesitate to call them to repentance. Love is patient and kind. But love is also truthful. There is an important tension here. It is important to know where our own tendencies are.Jesus was of course the perfect combo of love and truth. Spending more time with him will help me (more truthful) know how to minister (and be more patient and loving) to others.

  4. Ande’s post made total sense. Dennis Miller.Geoff, that is exactly what I am saying. sorry for the ramble. It has to be both love and truth. But I often error on truth for my sake and not for the persons sake (like lar’s bro). I want people to change because their junk is inconvenient for my world. Loving means loving people where they are at but not necessarily liking where they are at. Jesus entered into the mess but didn’t leave it the same. I think we either leave it the same or we do not enter it. Both errors. This is why we can have diverse community like no one else in the world. Because we can love people where they are (and be loved where we are) because the gospel frees us up to do that no matter what “dolls” people have. And living in that community should never leave people the same. It actually replaces the allusions with realities. Fake dolls with real relationships if you will. I am not sure what the title means and how it plays into the movie? Your thoughts?ps. thanks randy I shall check it out asap!

  5. The ‘real girl’ has to be the sweetheart who works in Lars’ office, the one left standing with him at the end of the movie. But why the movie is titled that is a good question. I was so mad at him for not seeing in her a REAL friend, who loves him for who he is, and can actually respond. Maybe we are to see that these people, who know us and yet love us anyway, are around us but we cannot see them.

  6. Ande,Now I got you brother. Totally agree with you!I thought that the older brother’s response to the doctor concerning Lars was like mine sometimes: How long is it going to take to get him ‘fixed?’ That’s totally me. And that’s totally NOT JESUS.The gospel does free us up to be a very diverse community with people who have a ton of different issues.Someone recently expressed to me that she thought the church was a place where good people who don’t struggle come. How far off is that?But maybe sometimes I convey that…The church sometimes conveys that…As far as the brother in the movie goes, I thought his character grew the most in love. He was extremely patient in the end. A great movie and I really am thinking about having the youth view it for a discussion some time.Geoff

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