Lars and the Real Girl is a quirky crowd pleaser

Lars and the Real Girl, written by the ultra-talented former Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver and directed by Craig Gillespie, is as sweet and heartfelt as Ryan Gosling (Lars) is cute. I was instantly drawn into the small Northern town in which the film takes place and was giggling from beginning to end.

I would place Lars in the vain of Charlie Kauffman’s Being John Malkovich, as the plot is completely off the wall and would not be one bit believable were it not for the excellent acting and superb writing.

A successful psychological comedy, which is a rare breed indeed, Lars tells the story of a delusional recluse who falls in love with a life-size doll he orders on the Internet. When Lars’ brother and sister-in-law tell the local psychologist, played by Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under), she tells them and the rest of the town to go along with the delusion and pretend that the doll (Bianca) is a real woman.

The story transforms into one man’s search for fulfillment through an inanimate object. The comedy arises in the other characters’ reactions to Bianca the doll. The use of straight-faced humor will have audiences smiling all the way to the end, as this film is sure to reach families, the elderly and quirky college students alike.

The only issue I had with the film is that I knew exactly how it was going to end after the first twenty minutes of watching. However, Lars is so sweet and innocent that it is worth watching in its entirety anyway.

The use of symbolism and evocative visual imagery in this film is abundant, and there are many memorable lines and characters. I truly hope this film doesn’t get overlooked because of its offbeat content.

Lars and the Real Girl opens Thursday, Oct. 25, at Regal Green Hills.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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