Lars and the Real Girl by Nancy Oliver (movie)
In this movie, Lars, is a painfully shy young man who lives what appears to most to be a sad and lonely life. He holds a mundane office job, and lives in a small cabin in the back of his family's home. His parents are both deceased, so Lars' brother, Gus and his pregnant wife Karin are the only ones left living in the actual family home. Karin is devoted to including Lars in the couple's life as part of the family, but night after night, Lars is more content to stay by himself, isolated in his small cabin. Karin feels that Lars is slipping away emotionally, and tries everything she can to engage him in life and human connection, albeit, with little success. One day at work, one of Lars' coworkers shows Lars a life size "love doll" that can be ordered to specifications via mail. About a week or so later, a large crate is delivered to Lars' cabin, as Lars has purchased "Bianca." Lars soon introduces Bianca - a paraplegic missionary of Brazilian and Danish blood - to Gus and Karin. Bianca is not a sex toy to Lars, but a companion he begins to take everywhere he goes (he pushes her in a wheelchair). Lars infuses Bianca with life through his stories about her, and she becomes more and more real, not only to Lars, but to all the townspeople as well. Karin enlists the help of the local therapist who "plays along" with Lars' fantasy, understanding it is his way to bridge the chasm of his loneliness and begin to build a bridge back to human connection. The townspeople instinctively understand this and welcome Bianca as one of their own, in a film that is funny, touching and filled with empathy. With Bianca by his side, Lars begins to venture out more into the "real" world, finding acceptance and love as his neighbors dare to drop their own views on what is "real" and view Bianca through Lars' loving eyes. Some of the most touching moments are when some of the women in the town take Bianca out by herself without Lars, so she can enjoy some girl time. To me, this showed such a sweet and loving side of humanity - kindness, acceptance, and care - that it left me feeling better about the human race all together! Lars and the Real Girl is a lovely, endearing movie that illustrates how powerful empathy and compassion are in healing what is broken in us.