Lars and The Real Girl

with Ryan Gosling

Viewed July 12, 2008

Because this was a movie about a guy dating a silicone life-sized doll, we played around a lot with the question of reality and idealism (Questions 4 and 7). It turns out that we decided that "reality" isn't as set-in-stone as we may have thought it was -- that what we expect from others sometimes has a major effect on the responses that we get from them.

One person told a story about how he didn't have any money available for a critically-important project, but when he asked himself how his life would look if he really believed that the universe was abundant, he saw a slew of new opportunities that he hadn't thought about before, and those opportunities helped him earn the money he needed. Someone else said that when she had been a preschool teacher, she was having lots of trouble with the kids acting out and so she was very frustrated. Finally she decided to try to "catch them being good," and found that they started acting MUCH better because she was noticing and acknowledging things she had missed before, and as a result the kids responded by increasing their good behavior.

So in the first story, his reality was actually much larger than he thought it was, and in the second story her expectations actually changed her reality. All of which is to say that reality may be much more flexible and mutable than we normally imagine.
(This video was reviewed by Bob McGarey)

Feel free to come and share your own personal insights sometime; the Saturday Night Video and Discussions here in Austin, Texas are a lot of fun and fascinating. (They're free, too.) Here are the questions the group came up with, based on the personal growth themes in the movie:


  1. How do I build healthy community?
  2. What is the limit of my patience?
  3. How do I define "Becoming an Adult"?
  4. What role does idealism play in my reality?
  5. How do I differentiate between enabling others and accepting them?
  6. How willing am I to face rejection? To risk love?
  7. What is so surprising to me about seeing family love being portrayed so ideally?
  8. How many missed opportunities have I had out of fear of stepping up to the plate?