I was expecting the worst from this movie and its outlandish plot. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. The film, despite its wild story line, actually manages to be touching and dramatic in spots. We learn that Lars (played wonderfully by Ryan Gosling) has a tragic past and has suffered the loss of loved ones. In fact, one loss in particular still causes him great grief. His older brother Gus (Paul Schneider) left home as soon as he could to escape the sadness of the house, leaving Lars behind with a grieving father. Now, years later, Gus and his wife Karin (Emily Mortimer) are happily expecting their first child, while Lars insists on living in the family garage.
Family and friends humor Lars and his “girlfriend” Bianca, because they love him. He takes her to church and almost everywhere he goes. He tells everyone she is a missionary. There are no scenes with him attempting to do anything sexually with the doll. He kisses it good-bye and dances with it but that is about it, other than holding hands! When the pastor of the church is asked about allowing the doll to attend church, he asks, “What would Jesus do?” This plot of course sets up some great humorous moments, including a scene in which Bianca is accidentally dropped in the bathtub as Gus and Karin, to pacify Lars, bathes her! To help Lars out, family and friends soon begin to schedule events for Bianca in the hope that Lars will come back to reality. Fortunately, Lars eyes a “real” girl named Margot who cares about him, and the question becomes whether he will be able to let Bianca go in order to have a real relationship.
If not for two strong words, the Lord’s name taken in vain, this film could have been awarded our Dove Seal for ages twelve plus. Unfortunately, the language is not family friendly.