This is the first blog for the series [Movie on mental health]. Here I will share some of the movies about mental health, that I found interesting. They are not only about mental diseases such as schizophrenia, but more about the problems that everyone might face in real life.

Today I am going to talk about one of my favorite movies by Ryan Gosling-Lars and the real girl. I knew Gosling from Blue Valentine, in which I think he gave his hottest performance. So when I watched Lars and the real girl, it was hard for me to recognize him. However, after watching the film, I felt it is indeed the best performance of Gosling, and that he, as an actor, is much more than handsome and hot.

The movie talks about Lars, an introvert young man, buying a sex doll online and treat her as a real girlfriend.

Lars was a nice and helpful young man living in a small town. However, he always rejected the invitation for dinner to his brother’s, even though he just lived by their house. He pretended to be unaware that his colleague Fargo loved him. What’s more, he is unable of physical contact. Every time he touched someone, he felt pain.

One day, Lars told his brother and sister in law that he had a female friend Bianca visiting him. The couple were more than happy, but it turned out that the “Bianca” is a sex doll! At first, everyone in the town was shocked and they could not accept that. But with the suggestion of the psychologist Dr. Berman, Lars’ family and friends tried to treat the sex doll as a real girl, washing her everyday, dressing her up, taking her to the town party, and even bringing her to voluntary jobs.

Lars introduced Bianca to his brother and sister in law. Image courtesy to MGM

Gradually, Lars found that Bianca no longer belonged to him only, so he felt frustrated and start fighting with Bianca. Meanwhile, the companion of Fargo made him realize the warmth of real relationship.

Eventually, Lars eliminated his delusion of Bianca, and return to the world of real love.

The most impressive thing in this movie is not how ridiculous that Lars would treat a sex doll as a girlfriend, but how the town people treated his delusion.

Karen, his sister in law, said: “We don’t do this for her. We do this for you!”

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Yes, none of others were insane, and they knew Bianca was a doll. But they also understood that this is where Lars entrusted his fear and love. Lars was afraid of intimacy because he was afraid of losing. A doll that cannot obey or betray is the ideal partner for him. But deep in his mind, he desired love and care more than anyone else. Therefore, the town people used Bianca as a medium to communicate with Lars, to know his emotions and feelings, and to show their care.

I can’t help thinking, what if this happened in real life? Would people in the society be as nice as the town people in the movie?

I don’t think so. They probably would laugh at Lars, tease him of having sex with the doll (even though he didn’t), or even bully him because he seemed crazy. His family might took him to the hospital, where he had to take pills and electricity shocks in order to “cure” his delusion.

This seems to be another good script for a move right? More realistic, and more reasonable.

But I still love the original one. As it shows hope, love, and warmth, that we expect to see from the society towards people who have difficulty forming a relationship.