Monday, March 25, 2013

Lars and the Real Girl...

STOP.  If you trust me (and especially if you have Netflix streaming), go watch Lars and the Real Girl, then  come back.  It looks vulgar, but I promise it's not.

I love this movie.  Lars is a reclusive, emotionally stunted young man formed and badly damaged by the loss of his mother at birth and his father's subsequent crippling sadness.  His kindhearted sister-in-law and guilt-ridden brother try to reach out to him, but he's all but unreachable until he announces that he has a girlfriend.  They're still thrilled he's interacting with another person until...

Introduction scene

That's right.  She's a sex doll.  He thinks she's real.  He talks to her, worries about her, asks his sister-in-law for clothes for her,...  And this is where the movie could have gone in a completely different direction.  It doesn't go to the obvious place.  It's not crude but tender and full of grace.  Led by Lars' family, the entire town deals tenderly with him.  They don't degrade or ridicule him or write him off as a weirdo.  And, I especially love this part, Lars' church leads the way.  On the advice of Lars' doctor, they pretend Bianca is real.  They give her a couple of part-time jobs.  They take her on outings   Someone gives her a new hairstyle.  There's a fair amount of giggling but no derision.  In the end, they love him out of his need for Bianca.

This movie touched me because it deals with one of my deepest, darkest needs.  (No, it's not a sex doll you weirdo.)  I may look normal...-ish, but I'm not.  Truly.  I only expose the smallest glimpses of my crazy here.  And what I want, at a very deep place, is to be loved and accepted in spite of it.  I want to walk through life holding my sex doll and be dealt with grace-fully.  And guys, the church is flawed in some fundamental ways, but while I've seen some messed up and disappointing stuff in church through the years, in this way, the church has shown up for me.  It's been a refuge and the place where I am accepted in gentle kindness not because I'm well-adjusted and easy to deal with but despite the fact that I'm difficult, more than a little ridiculous, and a lot of work.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:35


  1. I also loved the movie, especially the way people started fighting over Bianca a little bit--we all want a Bianca around some of the time.

    Which is to say that you ARE normal. Because we are all full of crazy. The craziest thing that all of us do is to look at other people and to mistake what looks like "normal" for actual health and general having-it-togetherness. When Jesus said that it isn't the well but the sick who need a doctor, the part that he didn't explicitly state is that we're all sick, even though some of us pretend to ourselves that we are.

  2. I had to skip what all you said about the movie because a friend just recommended it and gave me a copy to watch. I will come back and read after I watch.:-)

  3. Just finished the movie with Shawn and his parents. We all loved it. Great movie. I am sure I will be thinking through this one for awhile. Heartwarming.

  4. Oh my gravy. I had some seriously funny mental images in my head. If we still lived in Houston, I would dive up to MDA with a sex doll in the passenger seat. We would come find you and invite you to lunch (hopefully, we could find the waaaay too chipper hostess. I'd LOVE to see her face). Then, off to find the Harry Connick Jr anesthesiologist. Seriously funny in my head. What would we order her? Hmmmm.

    Guess I'm reading the posts backwards....

    1. And this is why we're friends forever. I know you would order her a margarita and help me paint her toenails. Miss you friend.


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