Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FILM REVIEW: "Lars and the Real Girl"

Are you kidding? A fantasy about a man's love affair with a plastic blow-up girl?! And everyone in the town understands and helps maintain the fantasy? How nice?

What town is that? I want to live there.

"Lars" is a sad film (it is not funny, except to warped senses of humor) about a disturbed psychiatric patient case study brought to the screen. It is a long, laborious 'one note' joke pretending to be a modern metaphor of gender non-connectedness and dating pressure.

I have great sympathy for mental illness; but this film's proffered call to indulge it's fantasies (outside the pshychiatric setting)--as the best (and by implication, only) corrective to human loneliness--is naive; and ultimately destructive.

What next? Love of a dog (and sleeping with one) as a metaphor for modern society's inability to gender connect? Why not?! Why stop with plastic substitutes?! Dogs are warm, furry, sleep in your bed and lick your face. Why stop there?

There is--must be--a line. Art (as opposed to tragic albeit perverse obsession) are two different things. Plastic dolls should be left in porno shops (in truth, should be condemned). Animals should be left as pets. And a society--most especially its artists--should focus on tales of human interconnectedness. The shock value of perverseness ("Lars" is brought to us by a writer honed on "Six Feet Under") is no substitute for drama. The best and most telling truths about human nature (granted, they are more difficult to mount...pun intended) are about humans. They require true insight. "Lars" is facile false film making at best. And boring.


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