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Movie Quote Monday – Lars and the Real Girl

Today’s movie quote is sponsored by Clay Morgan.  And by sponsored, I mean he knows nothing about this post. That’s Clay’s new book, Undead, on the side bar – give the cover a click to see what it’s all about!  (It’s zombie non-fiction, so chew on that a minute.  Chew on that, haha.  I did zombie humor, ya’ll!)

Lars and the Real Girl is about a young man who buys a life-sized doll to be his girlfriend.  Before you click away!, this isn’t a creepy movie, I promise.  It’s actually – oh my gosh, this movie – it’s sweet and funny and sad and touching and it’s just so many things.  It’s quirky and unusual, which I love, love, love.  And I cry every single time, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.  I won’t tell you when I cry, because it would be too much of a spoiler, and also it kind of makes me feel super foolish.  But I guess that’s the thing, is this movie makes me cry (every single time), even though what I’m crying about is kind of ridiculous.  The emotions they’ve built up behind this crazy scenario are just so deep that I can’t help myself.

(Fine, I sob.  But let’s just keep that between us, okay?)

Family, community and relationships are at the heart of this movie, as well as loss and fear.  Lars doesn’t know how to have relationships with people.  I think he fears the thing he wants the most, which is so relatable.  I have struggled with that, certainly not in the same magnitude, in such a life-defining way, but I know what that feels like.  And so Lars buys this doll as a kind of emotional bridge: his interactions with this fake human are the first steps in enabling him to interact with real people.

In Undead, there’s a section about how we offer food to people when they need to be comforted.  Clay talks about something I never paid attention to before, how Jesus would bring someone back to life and then tell the family to feed that person.  “Jesus just brought you back from the dead…  Let’s eat!”

That passage immediately brought to mind a scene from Lars that left a big impression on me.  It’s one of those quiet and simple and wonderful scenes that speak so much, at least to me.  I’ve written before about not knowing how to handle grief situations, especially not knowing what to say. It’s so difficult to know how to console someone , and that’s what this scene is about.

Ladies from the community have come over to sit with Lars while he’s hurting.  And that’s it.  They quietly do their needlepoint and knitting, just being there with him.  And they feed him.

Lars:  I feel terrible that all this is happening so close to the baby coming.
—Mrs. Petersen:  That’s how life is, Lars.  Everything at once.
Mrs. Schindler:  We brought casseroles.
—Lars:  Thank you.  Um, is there something I should be doing right now?
Mrs. Bruner:  No, dear.  You eat.
—Mrs. Schindler:  We came over to sit.
Mrs. Petersen:  That’s what people do when tragedy strikes.
—Mrs. Schindler:  They come over and sit.
Lars:   Okay.

These women give Lars physical and emotional nourishment, food and companionship.  They don’t offer up platitudes or condolences.  They don’t give advice or talk about their own experiences of loss or heartache.

They come over and sit.

I feel like that’s a good lesson for me, in situations where another is suffering, to open my heart instead of my mouth.

What do you think?

Items of Interest:

Why can’t I say the right things? (in which I don’t just come over and sit)

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ll check both of these out. I remember hearing about Lars and the Real Girl but I never looked it up. I’m looking forward to reading Clay’s book as well.

    October 8, 2012
    • People disparage the movie based on the premise (and I’m assuming without having seen so much as a clip of it), and it’s a shame because it’s so sweet. One of my favorite parts is when the brother is talking to the doctor about how to “fix” Lars’ delusion. He says that people will make fun of Lars. “And you.” she says. Wow, that kinda hits home.

      I find that a lot of people don’t see what I see in some of these more unusual movies, but I’m putting them out there anyway! Definitely check out Clay’s book, it’s really good. There will be a lot of reviews on that coming out this week – it’s Undead launch week \o/.

      October 8, 2012
  2. I downloaded Clay’s book yesterday. I will have to download that movie! I had missed it…

    October 8, 2012
    • I wouldn’t steer anyone wrong, Susie! Other than when I do steer people wrong and in those cases I never, ever admit fault. I hope you like them both, though 🙂 I do, and I’m never wrong! Other than when I’m wrong.

      October 8, 2012
  3. I’ve always avoided that movie because of the supposed subject matter (it seems a little out there), but I’ll give it a shot now. And I love love love Ryan Gosling!

    October 8, 2012
    • skippingstones #

      The concept is a little bit out there, but it’s really about a mental break this guy has and how the community responds to it. That mental episode is how he deals with the upcoming changes in his family and his past. I can’t guarantee you’ll like it, but I love it 🙂 I hope you don’t see it and wonder “what is she thinking?” You’re one of the people I feel most in tune with (for not actually knowing each other, haha), so I’m pretty curious to see what you think of it. This is a typical awesome Ryan Gosling role. And the little girl who is in love with him, she is the most adorable thing ever! Look at the trailer and see what you think first – it’s about the doll, and what this inanimate object creates in that town, in terms of emotion, but it’s not about a sex doll, if you know what I mean.

      October 8, 2012
      • Mind Margins/Run Nature #

        I will definitely check it out!

        October 8, 2012
        • Okay, finally watched the movie and . . . I loved it! What a sweet little gem of a movie. Totally unexpected. I want to move to that community and have his friends. And I also loved the scene where the ladies sit and knit and do needlepoint and tell him that’s what you do when tragedy strikes You sit. And eat.

          Today I received news that a good running friend passed away last night after a battle with lung cancer. Somehow watching this movie today is my equivalent of “sitting,” and makes his passing that much more poignant.

          November 23, 2012
  4. I agree about the Lars film!
    I must recommend the film Dummy, which is a similar type of film, about a young man with some social problems (and in this case, a talent for ventriloquism), and the way in which others react to his self expression.

    October 8, 2012
    • Hi Rayme! Yay, someone who’s seen it! I’ll have to check out Dummy, too. I love finding new-to-me films that are out of the norm. Thanks for stopping buy and taking the time to comment!

      October 9, 2012
  5. I love Lars too! It’s a gem of a movie although I must confess I wasn’t too keen when the husband popped it into the DVD player. Haha I thought the story of a man and his sex doll was quite creepy. But I totally fell in love with it while watching.

    October 14, 2012
    • Yay, another Lars fan! I can imagine what you were thinking, and I think a lot of people think the same thing. The same thing happened to me – I fell in love with that movie. I just adore Lars, and as I’m watching, I so badly want him to get well and be happy. I’m glad you liked it too!

      October 15, 2012

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  1. Lars and the Real Girl (2007) | Word of Mouth Scale

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