This post contains spoilers.
These Flickchart Battles are giving me headaches! Another great match-up between two movies slightly similar, but have much more differences that separate them. I love both of these movies a lot, but I guess I must pick a winner. Hmm…
Lars and the Real Girl is a movie that surprised me (in a good way). I read the premise before seeing it for the first time and I thought this was going to be a slapstick, over-the-top comedy about a man with a sex doll. But it was so much more than that. Ryan Gosling gives an incredible performance as Lars, a very quiet and shy man who orders a love doll from the Internet just to feel a sense of human friendship, something he’s unable to do. It’s an extremely delicate movie, but from the screenplay to the acting, it’s full of sincerity that is very rare. It would’ve been easy to make this movie into a ridiculous, tasteless comedy, but it takes great focus to have it come to life in such a beautiful manner.
And then there’s Superbad, an extremely raunchy and legitimate portrayal of high school seniors who just want to throw a party and get with a girl. Starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as best friends, this is one of the funnier comedies in the past decade and one of the better Judd Apatow produced films. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention the film-stealing character of McLovin! This also was the break-out film for Emma Stone, who ended up quite successful almost immediately after Superbad. Everything about this movie was hilarious, from the cops played by Bill Hader and Seth Rogen, to the foul-mouthed Seth making fun of geeky Fogell, Superbad is full of memorable moments. This is not just a good comedy, it’s a great one.
But Superbad wasn’t all curse words, pranks and jokes. It has a soft center that exposes itself in the final third of the film, and it really hits home. We’ve all had that best friend in high school with dreams to continue the friendship by attending the same college, be roommates, and raise all sorts of hell. That was Seth and Evan in Superbad, until it’s revealed they’re not going to the same college. It’s like the end of an era and for teenagers, this is a lot to take in and cope with. It’s a scary road to embark on for high-schoolers because everything you’ve known is thrown out the window within that one summer. All the friends you’ve seen for four years, the routines, the smell, the town… that all fades away when you leave it behind to attend college. Superbad gets all of these feelings right and it never sugarcoats anything.
Meanwhile, Lars and the Real Girl is a much more mature film that deals with a man who struggles with human touch and dealing with his emotions. But when the whole community supports Lars of his Bianca, whom he truly believes is real, it’s a very sweet and miraculous feeling to experience. All up to the end when Lars is finally able to say goodbye to Bianca and start interacting with real people that he cares about, it’s the icing on the cake of a very heart-warming story. And it’s full of super performances from Ryan Gosling, along with Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider. It’s a film that made me laugh nervously, but smile with pure happiness.
So what’s my verdict? This is a real tough choice, but I have to go with Superbad for two reasons. First, because of how close it hits to home in the way high school was portrayed and how it’s like to go separate ways from your best friends. They really hit it those things right on the nose and I loved how they didn’t censor anything throughout the film. Teenagers are immature and wild beings. I don’t think anyone would say otherwise. The second reason is how Superbad is a much more enjoyable film than Lars and the Real Girl. I love Lars, but Superbad is insanely quotable and there are hilarious moments around every scene. It’s a move you can watch with a bunch of friends, or just catch on television by yourself and love it just the same.