Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) is a shy and retiring man living in the garage of his brother and sister-in-law’s house. He frequently tries to avoid contact with his friends, co-workers and family and when he does have to interact with others, conversation is stilted before Lars is able to escape. Despite the obvious interest of colleague Margo (Kelli Garner) Lars has no girlfriend so his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and Sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) are shocked when one day Lars appears at their front door with the news that he has a house guest; a wheelchair bound, half Brazilian, half Danish missionary whom he met on the internet. Gus and Karin are initially overjoyed that Lars has met something but are soon startled to discover that ‘Bianca’ is in fact a Real Doll sex doll whom Lars is convinced is a real person. Worried about his mental health his family and friends all rally around Lars and attempt to welcome Bianca into the community while trying to get Lars the help that he so obviously needs.
The term rollercoaster ride of emotions is a little bit tacky and overused but it applies here. Every few seconds while watching this film I went from laugh out loud laughter to shock to sadness and back again. The film manages to be incredibly uplifting, sad and funny, often at the same time and features some great acting and an astonishing and original script.