In this comedy, Lars Lindstrom is an awkwardly shy young man in a small northern town who finally brings home the girl of his dreams to his brother and sister-in-laws home. The only problem is that shes not real - shes a sex doll Lars ordered off the Internet. But sex is not what Lars has in mind, but rather a deep, meaningful relationship. His sister-in-law is worried for him, his brother thinks hes nuts, but eventually the entire town goes along with his delusion in support of this sweet natured boy that theyve always loved.
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Once in a great while I am able to come across a DVD that tickles my curiousity. On this occasion Lars and the Real Girl was able to do so purely based on the title and cover art. Said cover art showcases Ryan Gosling sitting on a wooden shipping crate, holding yellow roses, and sporting a cookie-duster mustache that would make Ned Flanders envious.As most could guess, the story centers around Lars(Gosling), a painfully withdrawn young man that lives in the garage next to his brother Gus and his wife Karin(Paul Schneider and Emily Mortimer). On the surface Lars appears to be an anti-social loner who works at what appears to be a computer company. However, Karin is quite concerned about Lars, while Gus believes he just takes after his father's personality. We soon learn that there are many traumatic events that have led up to the situation at hand. Most of which stems from the death of Lars' Mother, which occured upon his birth.So with Lars growing up devoid of motherly affection we are practically handed the reasoning for his lack of connection with those around him. But are we to believe that the whole town would play along with this facade for the sake of a troubled young man? Writer Nancy Oliver must have been banking on the audience understanding the setting was not a place where Lars would have been ostracized from the community for his delusional frame of mind. And honestly, I can say yes, it works. The film also works because we are rooting for Lars to snap out of his funk and end up together with the girl at work, Margo(Kelli Garner). At times it almost seems as if the entire charade with Bianca the "love doll" was intentionally put on by Lars as a way for him to work up the courage to dive into a relationship with Margo. All of the performances are well done, but Gosling easily carries the film on his shoulders. It was also quite fun to see him embody a character that many people could relate to, which is something I haven't seen him do in any of his recent work. Lars and the Real Girl has a fresh take on what it means to come to terms with your situation in life in regards to love, family, and lonliness. The idea of Ryan Gosling parading around with a fake girlfriend may take some getting used to, but the audience should find themselves embracing the the scenario around the same time as the people surrounding Lars do.
Lars is played by the endlessly fascinating Ryan Gosling, who perhaps has too much of a taste for damaged characters, but manages the tricky task of both playing Lars' feelings and hinting at their motivations.
Nancy Oliver was nominated for an Oscar for writing Lars and the Real Girl, so that should be a clue that it is about as sensitive a script as possible, given that it is about a man in love with an anatomically correct love doll he names Bianca--and maybe Margo, the titular real girl who works in Lars' office and harbors a not-so-secret crush on him. ---------Lars Lindstrom: I was hoping winter was over. Margo: No, it's just a thaw - winter isn't over till Easter.======================Along with the writing, the acting by Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom and Kelli Garner as Margo also deserves praise, not to mention Emily Mortimer as Karin, Lars' sister-in-law, a chronic hugger. Bianca, though a life size doll, does a pretty good job, too, considering. She was treated on the set as a real person, just as she is treated by Lars and the townsfolk as a real person. The Midwestern Milieu--think Fargo but without such extreme accents--in which the film takes place seems to be quite a nurturing environment. On the advice of Lars' therapist his brother--reluctantly--and his sister-in-law--much more enthusiastically--go along with his delusion. Soon the whole town has accepted Bianca into their lives.----------------Kurt: Listen up, Margo; those action figures are very important to me. They're worth a lot of money. And if I don't see every damned one back on my desk pretty soon, then, you can tell your teddy to watch his back. Margo: [returns one action figure] I'll return them, one at a time... You going to Cindy's party? Lars Lindstrom: Oh, no. Margo: I was hoping you would. I really wish you would. Lars Lindstrom: Do you think I could bring my girlfriend? Margo: Oh, um, yeah, yeah, I'm totally bringing somebody Lars Lindstrom: Hm. =============================When you think how easily the premise could lead to tasteless scenes and situations, you'll be thankful that Lars is a very proper and respectful young man who just has issues with intimacy. Sure, there are lots of humorous scenes, but it never crosses the line. Besides watching the town warm up to Bianca, a big part of the fun is watching co-worker Margo with her not-so-secret crush on Lars, and watching the emotionally frozen Lars gradually thaw. Garner was fabulous as Rebecca in Thumbsucker, and Gosling is perhaps best known for The Notebook. His portrayal of Lars is miles away from his performance as Danny Balint, the Nazi wannabe who was secretly Jewish in The Believer, which just shows the wide range Gosling is capable of. FILM ROLES OF KELLI GARNERNormal Adolescent Behavior: Havoc 2 (2007) .... Billie Man of the House (2005) .... Barbara 'Barb' Thompson Thumbsucker (2005) .... Rebecca The Aviator (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (2004) .... Faith Domergue Bully (2001) .... Heather Swallers FILM ROLES OF RYAN GOSLINGHalf Nelson (2006) .... Dan Dunne The Notebook (2004) .... Noah CalhounThe United States of Leland (2003) .... Leland P. Fitzgerald Murder by Numbers (Widescreen Edition) (2002) .... Richard Haywood The Believer (2001) .... Danny Balint---------Kurt: You know what your problem is, Margo? You're just too aggressive. Just chill-lax, you know? Margo: Shut up!================================
Lars and the Real Girl is a film, without compare, about as far removedfrom conventional comedy as it's possible to be. Brilliant written byNancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie, Lars and the Real Girlfollows the story of Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling). Lars is anintrovert man really needing to get out. It's been rough for Lars. Hisfather died recently and his mother died giving birth to him. Larslives a reclusive existence in the family's garage, hiding in plainsight of his small, wintry hometown. . Painfully shy and eccentric,Lars fails to recognize that his co-worker Margo (Kelli Garner) has amajor crush on him, and he picks up on a casual reference made by hiscubicle mate, who mentions a website where you can order life-sized,anatomically correct sex dolls. But instead of seeing a sex object,Lars sees in this doll a potential life partner and the only kind ofsocial "peer" he can relate to. Here is where Bianca comes alive. Afterordering her, he set up a meet and greet up dinner with his brother,Gus (Paul Schneider) and his loving wife (Emily Mortimer). Lars evengives Bianca, a back-story. She is a paraplegic missionary, ofBrazilian and Danish blood, and Lars takes her everywhere in awheelchair. He has an explanation for everything, including why shedoesn't talk or eat. While, his brother and wife are shock and feltthat Lars might be delusional. They don't scorch him about treating adoll as though it's his real-life, flesh-and-blood girlfriend. They goalong with it for Lars's well-being. As he begins bringing Bianca withhim everywhere he goes, the townspeople come to the understanding andaccept Lars' unusual romance rather than making him feel bad. They makeBianca, a member of the community and Bianca become the symbol oflife-affirming statement of hope. She is as real as anyone in his lifecan possibly be, at this point in the development of Lars's socialabilities. As Bianca become more and more part of the community, Larstries to keep her and him from the public. How Bianca ends up in theend of the movie is need to teach Lars how to let go of the ones heloves. It is the complete of his lessons on normal human interactionand social behavior. If Lars had learned only to love, he would beclingy and more afraid of abandonment. Without giving too much away,the film is a beautiful movie in its absurdest. There would be no Larsand Real Girl without the performance by Ryan Gosling. He is aneffortlessly versatile actor. He gives his characters a distinctivepersonality as if they were actual people living in the modern world.Gosling's work here is a study in control of tone. He isn't too morose,too strange, too opaque & not too earnest. The word for his behavior,so strange to the world, is serene. He loves his new friend, treats hercourteously and expects everyone else to give her the respect hedoes.-Mad props to that kind of talent, a true artist. The film doeswell, with surrounding him with actors who express the instinctivekindness that makes the film indeed heartwarming, heartbreaking, andcompletely beautiful from start to finish. This is partly because theyhave long and sadly watched Lars closing into himself and are moved byhis attempt to break free. Glad the writer, and director wisely nevergoes for even one moment that could be interpreted as smutty ormocking. It has a kind of purity to it. As a parent, I would be OK tosend my children to see this movie. There is little to no drug use, noviolence, little harsh language, and the sex talk is PG-13 at best.It's a great work to show children, the acceptance of unusual people,empathy, working through grief with the help of tolerance and patience.
The producers of the first 'Lars', surprised that such a dreary yetfar-fetched movie could make a few bucks, decided to follow it up with'Part 2'. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, I'll describeit.'Part 2' begins near where the first part ended; the long shot acrossthe lake where Lars' brother Paul, sees Lars and ""Bianca"" in thewater. Paul runs to the scene to discover Lars' size 12 boot firmlyplanted on the back of the submerged dummy. A concentrated look willreveal no air bubbles.The next scene finds Paul, his wife Karin and fourteen otherpeople.....townspeople who have been involved in the conspiracy tobring Lars back to health by supporting his delusions...... crammedinto a small room of their tiny home. A quick shot shows Paul in thebasement, trying to catch his left thumb with his right hand. "Bianca"is seen clothes-pinned to an interior laundry line, water, mud andother marine life dripping onto the floor. Back in the crowded room the decision as to how to proceed is resolvedwhen the doctor/psychologist, Dagger, who has been making a fortunewith her weekly "treatment" of the dummy, pronounces that the communitycan't just bury her, as some want to. 'Lars, is at a hyper-criticalpsychological phase and since he seems to have a primitive sense ofright and wrong, he would instinctively "know" that something is wrongif he isn't brought to trial for the death of "Bianca". Why he couldregress back into the non-verbal, but working dope he was before; theold Lars.' The crowd mumbles a hesitant assent.We are now in the judges chamber of a courthouse. The stiflinglycrowded small room is filled with 350 people, all of whom havere-prioritized their lives for the sake of saving Lars. The back andforth dialogue doesn't mention how sick and tired they are of doingthis but is instead depicted as an honest give and take between the fewpeople who want him tried for first degree murder, those who want himput in the state hospital for the criminally insane and those who wanta lesser conclusion. The judge, a Liberal, decides that Lars will becharged with Manslaughter 1. He winks at the camera as we dissolve to:The trial in a series of short vignettes. The medical examiner, playedin a cameo by CSI's David Caruso, who exerts his considerable power andinfluence by testifying with his back to the audience, truthfullytestifies when he says the dummy has no life in it.A dramatic highlight is the next and final witness, Paul, Lars'brother, who testifies to what he saw at the lake but then breaks downon the stand. He confesses to all that he's hated Lars since he was asmall boy of 6, when Lars was born. He admits, almost cryingincoherently, that he would wake up early in the morning and silentlyurinate on Lars' bed, next to the sleeping boy, who then had to grow upwith the stigma of being a chronic bed wetter.The jury, in a benignly delivered verdict by the foreperson, find Larsguilty and the judge sentences him to 90 days in the county workhouse,with 54 months suspended.Lars is led out of the courtroom, smiling that lovably goofy smile ofhis and we see close-ups of many of the 900 people who have over-filledthe small town courthouse's one courtroom. All the principals in thefilm get their close-ups of course and are smiling as a superabundantamount of tears flow copiously down their faces as the music swells toa finish and the screen goes dark........But there's a postscript. Speaking as a talking head we see an ancientcrone who we finally realize as the doctor/psychologist Dagger, (badmakeup, unfortunately, in a film that otherwise has fine technicalcredits).Dagger"We thought that we had come up with the perfect ending for Lars. Theplan was for him to serve 10 days and then get released for goodbehavior. But unfortunately he started to chafe against incarcerationand commenced breaking jail rules. Well, one thing led to another andthen real tragedy occurred. Since our paper work looked 'real' and'legal', the county jail people, not involved in the cover-up, remandedhim to state prison. His condition deteriorated and he became a problemprisoner; throwing feces at the guards, carrying a shiv, doing heroinand even wetting his bed.Lars is now 55 years old and is considered a three time loser.(Breaking into sobs) The poor dummy will never again breathe the freeair of a free man!"
When I first heard about the premise of Lars and the Real Girl andeverybody involved in it, I was psyched. I'm always open to films thatgo against the typical Hollywood formula, and am forever on the huntfor deep, meaty, interesting films to watch. The concept in this filmsounded great. There was so much potential in this. It oozesoriginality and has a great cast. I thought "Ryan Gosling in anon-conventional role, even looking a little pudgy, playing a guy who'sso damaged and incapable of relating to people that he can only findsolace in an inaminate object - an encumbrance which all of his friendscome to accept by running's end? Sounds nice and juicy, I'm there."In theory it's a heartwarming concept, and means that pointing out theresulting movie's failures makes you feel like a big ol' meanie. Somuch has been said already about how completely implausible it is thatworking that into your review probably sounds like the easiest cheapshot. But the plain fact is that this so-called "comedy" is aludicrous, insulting and manipulative piece of dreck which doesn't somuch press your buttons as shatter them with a sledgehammer. For astart, Nancy Oliver shoots herself in the foot from page one by firstof all picking a subject that doesn't even make for comedy material(mental illness) and trying to add humour to it by featuring cutesinessbetween characters and amusing shots of a sex doll "socialising".This just doesn't wash. The extreme unrealism of the story from startto finish means that by the end of its running, an impressive cast andinventine idea just can't save the film, or the respect of any viewerwith an IQ above 50. We're meant to buy everything that it throws atus, when half the time the movie can't even make up its own mind whatit is. Is it a comedy or a drama? Well as I said before, mental illnessis not something that you can make jokes out of. I myself have had themisfortune of knowing people who've suffered from it. I can honestlysay that it's nothing like the picture that they've tried to depicthere, nor did everybody in the town that I live in go that far out oftheir way to help us. And if it's supposed to be a drama, thendownplaying it this much and loading it with whimsical lightheartedness makes the dramatic aspects of it impossible to takeseriously. Go with ONE genre and STICK with it.By no means any fault of the actors'. But the constant (dare I repeatmyself) cutesiness and bubbly humour wears thin so quickly, even beforethe second half, that I got to a point where I failed to care about anyof the characters or their motives. It almost feels like the sweetnesshas been thrown in to distract you from just how idiotic the plot is.It already goes without saying that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY thatEVERYBODY in the town would go along with Lars' fantasy, but what a fewpeople don't seem to have mentioned is why (or at least one reason why)this is so ridiculous: because aside from anything else not EVERYBODYin the town would know him. I'm constantly getting people telling me,"Man, it's a small town, and small towns are very self-involved." Thetown that I live in is very small as well. Do I know everybody wholives in it? No. And even those who I DO know - would they go THAT farout of their way for me, if they found out that I was having dillusionsthat caused me to fall in love with a sex doll? Look I suppose there'sno harm in a little wishful thinking, but there has to be some level ofcredibility. And the part where the doctors take Bianca to thehospital, which would mean that they'd have to shun real-life patientswho were actually sick in order to cater to her problems in theprocess? Really...People are NOT that open-minded, not even in small towns. Wherever yougo in the world, and whatever the size of the domain, there will alwaysbe accepting good-hearted people, and unaccepting cold-hearted people.Sweet people do exist (even if they are bloody hard to find) but theyare rarely without mean people around to balance them up. I don't seewhy this town that Lars lives in would be an exception. If it is, thensomebody tell me where I can find this place straightaway. Otherwise,feel free to come back down to Earth with the rest of us. We sufferthrough reality, why shouldn't you.Suffice it to say, this is a pretty awful movie. I only gave it oneextra star for the effort of the film's remarkable and very brave lead.No doubt, a fine performance from Mr. Gosling, who definitely deserveshis "next big thing" tag, but beyond that, everything else about thismovie is excruciatingly stupid.
This review is from: Lars and the Real Girl (DVD) I love Ryan Gosling and this is another one of my favorites. Its a bit on the weird side but funny. His character as Lars is so endearing, you just want to take him home with you. Great movie!
But it turns out this movie was pretty deep. I liked it because the characters are likable, the story moves along nicely, it is super unpredicable and as different as it is, it is very a very sweet movie. The movie explores how a delusional person lives. I would recommend this movie as a must see. Ciao
This is one of the most remarkably original films that I have everseen, providing a refreshing comment that we can learn and expand ourhorizons from each other if we approach everyone's foibles with adegree of kindness. It is laugh-out-loud funny, but it is alsothought-provoking and moving.Ryan Gosling provides a spectacular tour-de-force as a dysfunctionalyoung man in a small town who only begins to blossom when he starts a"relationship" with an expensive love doll. When he takes the risk ofintroducing "Bianca" to the tightly-knit community in which he lives,the "relationship" is met with an unexpectedly heartwarming response.Strong support is provided by the always-refreshing Emily Mortimer,Patricia Clarkson, and by Kelli Garner as the sweet thing who becomes"Bianca's" rival. But Gosling provides the heart and soul of thisremarkable film that never strikes a false note.The movie has an incredibly powerful and positive message about theability of a community to heal and nurture a troubled soul by treatingit with acceptance and compassion. It should be required viewing byanyone who feels alone in the world.
I know every one agrees that Ryan gosling is one of the best actors inHollywood who never chooses wrong and this film proves this thoughtright because I've never seen anything like this film, it makes u thinkand interpret every line since every line and every gesture has aprofound and an important meaning and part in explaining what'shappening. I've seen many Ryan films but this one stuck with me notjust because of him but also all the other actors are as weird andeccentric as he is especially his sister in law and that girl with whomhe ends up. the concept this film carries is so heartbreaking but likea wake up call because many of us are just like Lars but instead of asex doll we give our love to animals as we are afraid that humans won'tappreciate us and might cheat or leave us and our only way out of thisis for others to notice our pain and help without saying that we needhelp. I cried when every one in town started going along with hisdelusions just because they love him and want him back, and the end wasjust super brilliant. don't miss an amazing heart-warming film
This movie is definitely not for everyone. I feel like this is one ofthose movies where people either love it or hate it - there reallywon't be any in-between. It was equal parts sad and sweet. Your insidestwist and turn for this guy who is just not comfortable in his own skinand has no idea how to relate to people. I squirmed in my seat feelingjust as awkward as Lars. No matter how delusional Lars was there wasalways something completely relatable about him - who hasn't wished atsome point that they could create and then live in their own world?Watching Lars learn how to talk and interact with people through therelationship delusion he created was an incredibly sweettransformation. I just hope that if someday this ever happens to me,I'm living in a town where everyone is as accepting as the town inwhich Lars lived.Bottom Line: I'd pay $10 at the theater to see this one.
This movie didn't leave me loving it. It was too slow and awkward forme, but that was probably the point. I loved how the town and hisfamily took care of him and didn't isolate him but not everyone willappreciate this movie. I like Ryan Gosling from some past movies and tome this was such a different role for him. If you're looking for anentertaining flick this is not for you. It's sad and depressing yetsweet and loving. I hope some people who do watch this movie take someof the experiences with them. Lars hasn't had the best life, and he hasisolated himself from the ones who love him, what happens when you'relonely for too long?
I liked this movie, but it could have been better. It reminded me ofEdward Scissorhands with the whole "Emperors' Clothes" thing. I knowI'm cynical but really, this is a silly movie.Lars obviously has some kind of Autism Spectrum Disorder, geneticapparently. The fact that he is high functioning enough to have a job,drive a car, live alone etc. suggests Aspergers. His 'solution' tosocietal norms of relationships is to have a plastic girlfriend -rational enough if his self-delusion can support it.I think the community did him a disservice by 'accepting' Bianca. I waswaiting for the typical child to point out that Lars' GF is a dolly butit never happened. This idyllic village seems populated by thedescendants of Bedford Falls.What pushed this movie over the edge of believability was thehospitalization and burial of Bianca. That's one hell of a HealthInsurance plan they must have! We were waiting to discover that thebrother had been 'visiting' Bianca, but sadly that plot twist neverhappened.When Bianca 'died', the comment was 'I hope they kept the box she camein'.The acting was, however, excellent. great dialogue, well delivered. Iwould have liked just a little more 'bite'. Maybe if it's been done byTodd Solondz or even Soderburgh, it would have been a great film.Glad I watched it, wouldn't watch it again.
Don't get me wrong, I love quirky movies, but this was a little too much. The actors all did a good job, including the doll. My problem is this movie takes a semi-serious look at someone with a strong psychological disorder but does not handle it in a realistic manner. "Spoiler Alert!". You find me any ambulance, church, hospital who would take a blow-up doll this seriously, and i'll hand you a cool ten bucks. I guess they live in a community of enablers, and any doctor who would have any formal psychological education would not encourage continuing this illusion of a mentally disturbed person. Somehow this doll made it onto the school board, when typically there are many well-meaning adults pining for the position. Sympathy for an individual with mental issues only goes so far before it becomes unhealthy and unrealistic, which this movie passes with flying colors. I have worked professionally with people with mental illness and I do not find this movie plausible or clever. Don't think i'm a educational snob, if there was a clever twist to the movie, it could have redeeemed some value (murder or suicide of real life or doll), but the story as presented was just silly and laughable.
i love this movie, ryan gosling plays a very convincing guy with problems, hes a harmless crazy guy, wouldnt hurt anyonehes really funny in this movie in a indie way
The DVD came on time and it was in excellent shape. I think there might be a sheet in there with the scene listings that is missing but I am not sure.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning** Sunday Night * Monday Morning Lars (Ryan Gosling) is an unusual young man who lives by himself in aconverted garage next to his dead parent's home. His older brother Gus(Paul Schneider) and wife Karin (Emily Mortimer) are concerned abouthis lack of a social life and keep trying to get him to come over andsee them but to no avail. Constantly shutting other people off, Larscomes to find happiness by ordering a life size inflatable doll, whichhe passes off to others as his new girlfriend. He seems happy withthis, but seems unaware how those around him think he's lost his mind.I was a regular listener of this late night radio show some years backwhere guests phoned in and the presenter tried to use his everymanadvice to guide them in the right direction, and there was actually acaller who claimed that her brother (or something) had started goingaround supermarkets and such with a giant inflatable doll for agirlfriend. Naturally, she was worried he'd lost his mind and it wascertainly nothing the presenter expected he'd have to deal with. So theplot to LATRG is maybe not as high concept as it sounds, but it's stilla film that makes Howard the Duck seem positively sane.Some okay performances from lead star Gosling, as the titular characterwho gives off a really good impression of having autism or Asperger'sSyndrome, and co stars Schneider and Mortimer help carry things alongbut the story fails to hold your interest and, after some intelligenceinsulting scenes where the doll's blood pressure is taken, an emergencyambulance is called out for her and she even gets a bloody funeral!, analready crazy story is just made even more nonsensical and therefore,unlikeable. **
Sweet. Sweet. Utterly sweet.I rented this movie thinking it would be an original, offbeat comedy,which it is, in a way. What I wasn't prepared for was how deeply,almost heartbreakingly, moving an experience "Lars and the Real Girl"is. Wow! It's the story of a lonely, emotionally traumatized, young manwho discovers happiness (sort of) with his new girlfriend, thelife-sized, anatomically-correct doll Bianca...and it's also so muchmore.Warm, fuzzy feelings abound as the small-town community comes toembrace Lars and Bianca, all in an effort to help this sweet, woundedsoul. Ryan Gosling plays this character beautifully (which is nosurprise, considering his amazing performances in his other films. I'mtotally in love with him!). The whole rest of the cast, and EmilyMortimer especially, delivers big time as well.If you're at all down in the dumps, or feeling disillusioned about yourfellow humans, check out "Lars and the Real Girl". It'll restore yourfaith in humanity, and, assuming you have a pulse and aren't completelyevil, maybe even make you go "Awwwww".
I fully enjoyed this film. While the premise of the movie ("A guy fallsin love with a sex doll!") might sound weird, don't be fooled. Insteadof mindless sexual trip, it's a very human comedy. Ryan Gosling, who I admire as an actor, stars as the main character, avery simple and lonely man called Lars. Lars lives in a remodeledgarage by himself and has so much trouble relating to people that oneday he goes out and buys a doll online and has it mailed to him. Hissister-in-law and brother, who in a house close-by, are at firsthorrified by Lars' delusion that Bianca, the sex doll, is a realperson, but they learn to accept Bianca for what she is: a beautifuland heart-breaking way to reach out to a world that terrifies Lars. Theconflict crops up when Lars falls in love with another girl, and thistime she's not a doll.If you're looking for a sweet and heart-tugging comedy, you'll fall inlove with "Lars and the Real Girl."
This is a good movie. I feel sympathetic to people who don't fit in very well or have a mental illness. These people still have the same human emotions and needs as everyone and it is sometimes hard for them to cope. I am single and an introvert, so I can understand a little about how this guy feels. The movie has some funny moments because the story is so bizarre, but there are also some sad moments.