When it comes to this film, I was a complete idiot. I let my phobia of internet-order dolls (ew!) allow me to write it off as something that was probably, definitely, not enjoy one bit. Add to this fact that until now Ryan Gosling had left me feeling a bit queasy (see: The Notebook) and it slid off the radar. Then my partner in Lovefilm crime added it to our list and it plopped onto my doormat and into the DVD player and WOW.
I think it is instantly in my top 10 films (don’t ask me for the other 9, or you will still be listening to me bleating on while your hair is slowly turning grey and skin wrinkling) so I just wanted to encourage you to get it on your amazon wishlist if you haven’t seen it yet.
The real miracle of this movie is how on earth do you make a film about a life-sized love doll, ordered from a shady internet sex site, into a life-affirming statement of promise and hope that all is good in the world?! I think the answer is that the film is completely sincere, which is just so rare nowadays. The entire cast are incredibly believable and quickly you feel almost part of the community in the small mid-west American town – faced with the same questions and initial fears which slowly dissolve with the story as you get to know the character of Lars. It is definitely a film that haunts you long after the credits roll, pestering you to question your attitudes and judgements. Other amazing things about the movie are: Ryan Goslings wardobe! Hot! Ski jackets, cords, gaudy knitted jumpers and bad moustache are the best.
I don’t know if the director is perhaps a fan of this film, but the concept and scenario reminded me of Harvey the 1950s movie about an enchanting alcoholic Elwood, who believes he is accompanied though life by an invisible 6ft rabbit. I think Elwood is my idol, everyone could do with living life more like him (apart from the raging booze habit part…) This quote just about sums it up and always makes me smile.
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
(This is probably also in my top 10 movies, fyi!)