Monday, March 17, 2014

Visual Parallels: Lars and the Real Girl + Her

By Sati. Monday, March 17, 2014 , ,
I never choose the easy way. And an easy way would be to pair Spike Jonze's Her with Sofia Coppola's Lost Translation - people kept banging on about the similarities between the two for months now, hell I even saw comparison gifsets of tumblr. But kids, yours truly always tries to make her life harder. So here we go, from the scratch.

When I was watching Her I didn't really think of technology or healing after a breakup. Granted the film is in a big part abut those two things but the thing I kept thinking about was how Theodore was looking for connection. Like he had all those feelings to express and things to say and he was looking for someone - or something to help him out.

I saw hat before.

In Lars and the Real Girl, beautiful, little movie, Ryan Gosling plays Lars - painfully shy, quiet man who buys a sex doll, gives her a name - Bianca - and treats her like she was his actual, human girlfriend. Much like in Her, an inanimate object gives the protagonist the comfort he needs.

Lars and Theodore both have a traditional couple in their lives - for Lars it's his brother and his wife and for Theodore his neighbors. They both have goofy co-workers, as well as someone who understands them - for Lars it's a doctor played by Patricia Clarkson and for Theodore his neighbor Amy. They also has someone who doesn't get their feelings at all - Lars' sister in law and Theodore's ex-wife.

Both films slowly and gradually show how protagonists can finally embrace life in a better way because of their relationship with the surrogates. Lars overcomes his crippling shyness and Theodore finally lets go of all the negative feelings the change in his life brought with it.

The women in their lives who help them out tend to have angelic qualities - Amy has messy curly hair unlike Theodore's ex and Margo, Lars' colleague from work, is a cute blond as opposed to his sister in law, always looking very strict, in spite of her desire to help Lars as much as she doesn't understand his actions.

Both films, while dealing with similar subject, frame the characters in similar way - we often see Lars and Theodore all alone, they even leave that impression if they are surrounded by people or they are at work. We often see them with their feelings surrogates in bed or outside, surrounded by nature - as if the precious bond they have was their own little, private haven.

37 comments:

  1. Wow, I never would’ve thought these films could visually link together, but damn if you haven’t gone and done it again. Simply spectacular work here. I just adore these visual feasts of yours. The shocked/appalled Mortimer/Mara parallel might be my favorite, but they are all splendid.

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    1. Thank you so much! Mortimer and Mara even have the same hairstyle in the films so it made it all much easier to find the right shot:)

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  2. I love these posts and I wish I had such a great eye for detail as well. Haven't seen Lars and the Real Girl yet but it seems as good as Her so I might give it a watch soon enough.

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    1. You should definitely see it, I think you'd love it!

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  3. Wow... that's fucking great. I love both of those films.

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    1. Glad to read so many people like LATRG, it's such a wonderful film.

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  4. Brilliant work! I love both films, and these VPs are amazing!

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  5. Good job. This is a phenomenal comparison, especially the visual demonstrations with the images you provided at the end. Will definitely see Lars and the Real Girl now!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you'll like it, it's a very beautiful movie.

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  6. Awesome post! I never would've thought of this, but it really fits. I'm glad you singled out Lars and the Real Girl. I really loved that film..now I want to re-watch it.

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    1. It's such a great movie and it gets so little love. I'm shocked crazed Gos fans don't promote it better.

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  7. Awesome post! I loved both films and how you connected the two - I never really saw the similarities, but after pointing it out, they have much in common when it comes to the roots of the two films.

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    1. Thank you, glad you liked the post!

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  8. Good thing you made this harder on yourself - cause this awesome! I love Lars and the Real Girl, and I had thought of the same comparisons when I saw Her (to be honest, I wish the latter had less sex in it and other things about connection were more explored). Happy to see I wasn't the only one - great job!

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    1. Oh that's awesome! Both movies just stroke me as so similar. I found the sex part of Her to be the weakest part of the movie. It seriously bordered on ridiculous.

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  9. Another brilliant VP! I haven't seen LatRG but I definitely want to check it out now.

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    1. Oh it's such a wonderful movie, one of Gosling's best roles.

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  10. Great job, never thought of these! VP is still my favourite blog feature, love it!

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  11. Shit. I still haven't seen Lars, although I've been meaning to for YEARS now. Since you've made such a visual comparison to Her (which I LOVED), I'm going to have to prioritize this movie now! Nice job, girl!

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    1. YEY! Hope you'll like the movie!

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  12. Amazing post, Sati! I love the parallels. This is definitely a better pair than Her with Lost in Translation imo.

    Side note: Is it weird that I'm still attracted to Gosling and Phoenix is both of these? :/

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    1. Seriously? That's high praise, thank you :)

      Well they are cute and helpless, I heard many girls like that type :)

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  13. Excellent!! Never thought of the similarities between these two. But I love both movies. Her was one of my favorites from last year while Lars And The Real Girl is a really underrated movie. Ryan Gosling was awesome in the role!

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    1. It really is such an underseen gem, so glad to read there are so many fans of the movie!

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  14. Wow. I have never seen Lars and The Real Girl, but those images are very persuasive. Definitely a great deal of similarity there.

    Excellent work!

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    1. Thank you! You should definitely check out the film!

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  15. Excellent post Sati. I can see where you're going with this one. Two great films and it'll be hard to view them the same way again now :)

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    1. Thank you, glad you liked it! :)

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  16. This is really great Sati! I watched Lars many years ago so even that I thought about it for a moment, I didn't get much on to it. Now I think I'm gonna rewatch it, thanks to this, 'cause I love Gosling in there - well, and in everything - and I'm eager to watch it thinking about these parallels. I talked on my post about the parallels with Lost in Translation as you know, but I don't know if you watch Ruby Sparks, I also found similarities between the two films in the way the main characters deal with the jealousy and freedom of their "girlfriend". Both Ruby and Samantha start to talk to "older" man and to spend time without the boyfriend, and in both films Phoenix's and Dano's characters kind of freak out when that happens, and also they both have a similar conversation with their exs.

    I gotta agree with the first comment, I loved the shocked/appalled Mortimer/Mara parallel and the last one.

    You always do the coolest things, I think I didn't tell you but I loved your Breaking Bad / Pulp Fiction parallel too.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you! I've heard of Ruby Sparks, it's been on my watchlist for ages now I really need to see it soon.

      Thanks so much, I was just shocked while watching Breaking Bad again and noticing all those similarities, I'm sure most of those was actually intentional.

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  17. This. Is. Awesome. The thought never even crossed my mind to link these two together, but you *nailed* it. Really nice work here!

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    1. Thank you, glad you liked it! :)

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  18. I like this a lot, great work! Lars and the Real Girl is one of my favourite films but I wouldn't have made the comparison with Her, so this is really interesting to see.

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