Was it the absurdity? Because, of course, a Real Doll is absurd. It's offensive and gross. That said, Ryan Gosling's Lars is far from absurd. He's a sweet, gentle soul who takes in the world from a very safe distance. So, theater patrons, is it his curious mental illness that is laughable? I might be able to accept that. I, however, only occasionally got the joke. Most of the time, I was just sad for Lars and his hurt and proud of the simple acts of kindness and honesty that this entire town shows him at the right moments to provide some level of therapy and healing.
But still, that fucking doll. I know we imbue objects with our own feelings and hangups and I'm trying to accept that this creepy sex toy could be anything to anybody in the right context -- something the movie showcases time and again -- but still. There are dudes paying thousands of dollars to hump an inanimate woman (with a backstory like she came from the Cabbage Patch) who won't reject them. Or talk. Or think. Or be.
You'll forgive me if I struggle with accepting her as Lars and his community does.
And yet, even though I squirmed in my seat with my brow furrowed, it is a wonderful film. The acting is spot on. We get to know these people in both their little and big moments. And, I cared.
Real Doll notwithstanding...recommended.