This is a sweet Canadian film that is an excellent example of how the beats don’t have to occur in the same order. Lars is a lonely young man who gets an inflatable doll and has a delusion that she is real. The town goes along with him on the advice of the doctor.
I thought this would be a set up for a lot of one line jokes. And there are some quietly absurd cemedic moments that are really enjoyable. But mostly this is a great example of a Virgin story that has a really strong story line for the Kingdom as it goes through its transformation to make room for the individual.
Beat 9, the Kingdopm in Chaos happens right near the beginning when Lars shows up at Karen and Gus’ door (Lars’ brother and pregnant sister-in-law) asking them to host his new “friend”. “What will people think? He needs to go to a hospital and we can’t afford it. He needs more help than we can give him. I won’t pretend for him, why are we doing this? People will laugh at me!” All these lines pour out of Gus’ mouth as he struggles to maintain some form of normalacy.
Then we get into Beat 12 as most of the community goes along with Lars’ delusion in order to make a place for him in the kingdom and to give recognition to his intrinsic value. Elements of Beat 12 continue through most of the movie. Somehow, ever since Lars’ mother died in childbirth and his dad was stricken with grief, Lars got ignored and left alone resulting in him believing he was unloved, to blame and not normal. His delusion brings a way for them all to heal and bring Lars into the community.
This is a film that moves slowly through all the beats and creates a world that is simple, rich in symbols (sometimes heavy-handed), yet highly engaging as you watch the awakening of Lars. The genuine psychological aspects keep it interesting. It is really heartwarming to see a community reach out for an individual. The kingdom becomes more accepting of the needs of individuals and Gus grows in a way that will make him a better father (Beat 13).