Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lars & the Real Girl!


A movie about a weirdo who buys a plastic doll and tries
to pass "it" off as his actual girl friend?

Creepy or insane or ridiculous or sick or all four, right?

Wrong. Lars & the Real Girl is the first movie I've
seen in a long time that I even remembered the next day,
much less loved, and I do.

I'm not going to say much about the actual movie, because
whoever you are, if you read this blahg, I guarantee
you will love Lars & the Real Girl. The part about him
buying the doll is early in the movie and has been pretty
widely a part of the ad campaign anyway.

Couple things I learned, or re-learned, about storytelling
while watching this wonderful movie.

First, you can get away with anything in terms of love,
or sweetness, or even cornballness--IF you unfurl the absurd,
or the impossible, a step at a time. Don't be afraid to let the
very sweetest part of your creativity & imagination show. Put
your heart on the table, but an artful card at a time.

Always have somebody in the story who acts outraged, unbelieving,
who doubts & sneers & protests, who asks the questions that need
to be asked and raises the issues that need to be raised--even if
the answers are half-assed or brushed off by those who go
along & believe. People want to believe, but they want all their
questions asked at least, if not answered fully. That critical
function is fulfilled by Lars' brother, who is amazing and essential
to the beauty & truth of this story.

The whole town itself is a character which is also essential,
but that part you have to see for yourself.

The other thing is, no matter what they say, everybody loves
love. They still do. So much art today is harsh & violent &
scary & crazy & loveless. To me, it's an addictive sickness,
just my opinion. Maybe it's the way it's supposed to be, I don't
know, but thank God for artists who make heartful, soulsome gems
like Lars & the Real Girl.

The best things in life, the most essential things, are quiet,
wordless, silent. This from a writer & a blabbermouth, yes, but I believe
it. Yet the world gets louder & noisier & faster & full of more & more
words & images with less & less human meaning.

Lars & the Real Girl is about another world, or another part
of the world. A place of craziness, maybe, yeah, sure,
but it's the tenderest of craziness, the craziness of love, and
how far & determinedly people will crawl through their fear (of themselves)
to get to that love.

Viva Lars & the Real Girl!

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