psych support in a small town
Thursday, June 5 2008
This evening, after the usual programs, Gretchen and I watched a movie called Lars and the Real Girl, the tale of shy, quasi-autistic Lars and Bianca, the sex doll with whom he forms a relationship. In most movies with such a setup, a series of comedic pratfalls would ensue, perhaps culminating with a scene of redemption and concluding with a marriage to a real girl (as opposed to a Real GirlTM). But no, this is a serious movie designed to explore how a community can, on occasion, look after and care for its most troubled members. Instead of ridiculing Lars as he pushes his inanimate girlfriend around in a wheelchair, townsfolk and aquaintences are kind and supportive, playing along with Lars' delusions. They'd all gotten the memo about the new situation and everyone is on board, including the rescue squad and hospital staff on the morning when Lars discovers that Bianca "isn't breathing." It's amazing that a film on this subject matter is completely devoid of any human cruelty.
I looked to see what ChristianAnswers.net had to say about such an uplifting movie about a guy and his sex doll and found this. Watch out, though, because, "Though incredibly mild, the language in the movie does have a few instance's [sic] of using the name of God out of context, as well as an utterance of H***."
Lest anyone assume that a small town would be incapable of showing such kindness to someone with such obvious psychological handicaps, I should mention that the shopkeepers and denizens of Staunton (Virginia) are surprisingly indulgent of my brother, Don, who suffers from schizophrenia, emotional problems, bipolar disorder, and mild autism. He mutters to himself, sometimes stopping to jump up and down in place while shouting about various dictators from the late 1970s. He rarely bathes, wears stained clothes, and boasts wildly unkempt facial hair. But one time when my brother had a bicycle accident and broke one of his legs, my mother found it difficult to walk down Beverly Street without being accosted by well wishers, people whom she didn't even know.
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