Monday, June 23, 2014

UU A Way Of Life at the movies - Lars and The Real Girl

Lars and The Real Girl is one of those quirky, independent films with a questionable plot that could be either really good or a waste of time. Lars and The Real Girl is really good and available on Netflix steaming.

Lars displays symptoms of social phobia and Asperger's Syndrome. He is anti-social and shrinks from human touch. He buys a sex doll through the internet not for sex but to keep himself company. His brother and sister-in-law who live next door seek medical advice from the family doctor and with her advice decide to play along with Lars' delusion which becomes quite complex leading to his taking his toy partner to church, office parties, shopping, and Bianca (the doll's name) becomes incorporated into the fabric of the community's life. In other words, out of their love and compassion for Lars the whole community plays along with Lars' delusion.

Now, this folie au deux as it is called, meaning when two or more people are caught up in a delusional system, comes across as very loving, moving, and compassionate. As weird as the whole premise is, this movie is full of grace, and one is struck with the idea that while Lars' relationship with Bianca, the sex doll, is dramatically weird in that it is a deluded projection of his own mind, it is no different that the kinds of "special" relationships that "normal" humans create with their live, flesh and blood partners. There are scenes where Lars is arguing with Bianca about matters of how she spends her time, and her attentiveness to him, that occur every day with real couples and are just as silly. Lars' projected and delusional relationship with Bianca is analogous to the special love relationships that we create with real people without being aware that our grasping, possessiveness, jealousy, control issues are a manifestation of our own ego desires rather than the presumed dynamics of true love.

Lars and The Real Girl can be viewed on multiple levels and the meanings one makes of his or her viewing can be very rich and deep. The movie exemplifies many UU principles such as the inherent worth and dignity of every person no matter how crazy, compassion in our human relations, search for truth and meaning, our interdependence with one another, and acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth. It is a movie well worth watching and I give it an 8 on a 10 point scale.

1 comment:

  1. I love Lars and The Real Girl. The thesis of the movie makes us look at the nature of our own relationships and question the accuracy of our perceptions and judgments about the other person we are in relationship with.

    The movie highlights the idea that identities are socially constructed and what we call the "self" has little intrinsic substance but is rather the accumulations of projections and stories we have been told about ourselves by others and come to accept as who we are.

    Bianca, as Dr. Dagmar, said, is "real" at least "real" for Lars and for the other people who accepted his relationship with her. The idea that we, indeed, create our own realities comes through in this movie loud and clear.

    I came away from this movie more aware and a better experience for the experience. Thank you for bringing this movie to my attention.