Wall Street Journal
It's nothing less than a miracle that the director, Craig Gillespie, and the writer, Nancy Oliver, have been able to make such an endearing, intelligent and tender comedy from a premise that, in other hands, might sustain a five-minute sketch on TV.
Christian Science Monitor
The movie is an idyllic view of life as it ought to be, rather than the way it is.
At a time when romantic comedies seem to have exhausted unique ideas, along comes Lars, an original, amusing and heartfelt tale sharply written by Nancy Oliver (Six Feet Under).
The Hollywood Reporter
A deep, sweet-hearted study not only of one lonely character but also of the community that supports him.
While "quirky" is a good descriptor for the production, Lars and the Real Girl isn't so bizarre that mainstream movie goers will reject it. This is an offbeat independent production that could become one of those big little fall surprises.
Helmer Craig Gillespie's sweetly off-kilter film plays like a Coen brothers riff on Garrison Keillor's "Lake Woebegone" tales, defying its lurid premise with a gentle comic drama grounded in reality.
Really, I think we put up with Lars at all only because Gosling has such an affinity for the wounded boy birds he tends to play that it's easy to watch him do his thing.
TV Guide Magazine
Gosling is the film's salvation: He really is good enough to make this underwritten fantasy feel as though it amounts to something. But it doesn't.
The New York Times
It’s part comedy, part tragedy and 100 percent pure calculation, designed to wring fat tears and coax big laughs and leave us drying our damp, smiling faces as we savor the touching vision of American magnanimity. It holds a flattering mirror up to us that erases every distortion.
Lars and the Real Girl wobbles in a slow, toneless no-man's-land between mawkish and schmaltzy while trafficking shamelessly in heartland stereotypy.