Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. It's nothing less than a miracle that the director, Craig Gillespie, and the writer, Nancy Oliver, have been able to make such an endearing, intelligent and tender comedy from a premise that, in other hands, might sustain a five-minute sketch on TV.
  2. The movie is an idyllic view of life as it ought to be, rather than the way it is.
  3. The creators of this film were fiercely determined not to go so much as a millimeter over the line into sentiment, tawdriness or mockery. It's the rare film that is the best possible version of itself, but "Lars" fits that bill.
  4. 90
    Gosling's performance is a small miracle, not only because he's so completely open as a man who's essentially shut off, but because he changes and grows so imperceptibly before our eyes.
  5. 88
    How this all finally works out is deeply satisfying. Only after the movie is over do you realize what a balancing act it was, what risks it took, what rewards it contains. A character says at one point that she has grown to like Bianca. So, heaven help us, have we.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    At a time when romantic comedies seem to have exhausted unique ideas, along comes Lars, an original, amusing and heartfelt tale sharply written by Nancy Oliver (Six Feet Under).
  7. 88
    When a movie about a guy who orders a sex doll off the Internet can turn vice into virtue, something miraculous has occurred. Lars and the Real Girl achieves that kind of miracle.
  8. Reviewed by: Howard Karren
    88
    Lars's attraction to Bianca is like an audience's to an actor onscreen -- the object is fake, an approximation, but for some that's better than flesh and blood. Bianca is a work of art. And so is Lars and the Real Girl.
  9. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    80
    A deep, sweet-hearted study not only of one lonely character but also of the community that supports him.
  10. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    80
    A strangely affecting romance with real heart -- and another sign that Gosling is one of the best young actors around.
  11. 80
    Both hilarious and poignant, with a Capraesque humanity that caught me completely off guard.
  12. It takes a village, I've heard it said. It takes a village not only to raise a child but also, in this case, to aid the delusional and help restore good mental health. Or so Lars and the Real Girl would have us believe.
  13. 75
    Initially sounds perverted but ends up being just the opposite.
  14. Working with a doll can't be easy, but Gosling actually makes it feel emotionally real. A scene where he shares an imaginary dance with Bianca, with his eyes closed and a beatific smile on his face, is by itself worth the price of admission.
  15. 75
    It's a tribute to the filmmakers and cast that by the end of Lars and the Real Girl, you can almost accept that Bianca is, well, a real girl.
  16. A gentle comedy, offbeat but never cute, never lewd and never going for shortcut laughs that might diminish character.
  17. 75
    While "quirky" is a good descriptor for the production, Lars and the Real Girl isn't so bizarre that mainstream movie goers will reject it. This is an offbeat independent production that could become one of those big little fall surprises.
  18. Of course, entire books have been written, and perused by disappointed women, about the male reluctance to put away their fantasized Biancas. In that sense, Lars and the Real Girl is real indeed. In every other, it's a sweet, bordering on saccharine, bagatelle.
  19. Gosling is excellent playing a character who's fundamentally unknowable.
  20. Often howlingly funny, and the actors are a treat. But the underlying message is so suspect that it’s hard to suspend disbelief.
  21. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Gillespie’s movie walks a delicate line through a minefield of potential bad taste. Directed with patient, low-key sensitivity, it never goes for a cheap laugh at its protagonist’s expense.
  22. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    70
    Helmer Craig Gillespie's sweetly off-kilter film plays like a Coen brothers riff on Garrison Keillor's "Lake Woebegone" tales, defying its lurid premise with a gentle comic drama grounded in reality.
  23. A sweet little comedy, as easygoing and warmly innocuous as the benign irony of the title.
  24. By movie's end, it seems like the only one giving a truly genuine performance is Bianca. Mouth-agape, steadfastly mum.
  25. 50
    Gosling is the film's salvation: He really is good enough to make this underwritten fantasy feel as though it amounts to something. But it doesn't.
  26. You can approach it as a surreal story -- you'd have to, to find value in it -- but happy chuckles are miles away from the point.
  27. Really, I think we put up with Lars at all only because Gosling has such an affinity for the wounded boy birds he tends to play that it's easy to watch him do his thing.
  28. It’s part comedy, part tragedy and 100 percent pure calculation, designed to wring fat tears and coax big laughs and leave us drying our damp, smiling faces as we savor the touching vision of American magnanimity. It holds a flattering mirror up to us that erases every distortion.
  29. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    Heartfelt but muddled film.
  30. 50
    In spite of the title, there's nothing particularly "real" about Lars And The Real Girl, just a couple layers of quirk several stops removed from the world as we know it.
  31. I find Lars and the Real Girl adorable in the worst way, bailed out only by most every member of its excellent cast.
  32. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    30
    Lars and the Real Girl wobbles in a slow, toneless no-man's-land between mawkish and schmaltzy while trafficking shamelessly in heartland stereotypy.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 61
  2. Negative: 8 out of 61
  1. CarolG
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    I absolutely loved this heartwarming tale about a community coming to support one of its own. I recommended this film to all of my friends I absolutely loved this heartwarming tale about a community coming to support one of its own. I recommended this film to all of my friends and they loved it too. I thought it should have gotten best picture in 2007. Full Review »
  2. PG
    Apr 10, 2008
    9
    it's really good... better than you'd think. great ideas, beautifully shot and some of the best acting you'll see in something it's really good... better than you'd think. great ideas, beautifully shot and some of the best acting you'll see in something with a little comedy in it. enjoy it. Full Review »
  3. shareec
    May 29, 2008
    10
    I absolutely loved this film. I found myself falling in love with the beauty and support of the entire community in order to help Lars rise I absolutely loved this film. I found myself falling in love with the beauty and support of the entire community in order to help Lars rise above his emotional baggage. In the real world, I think we all could learn something from them. Full Review »