Two movie recommendations.

On Sunday night, Mike and I watched Little Manhattan with his second mom and another one of her “sons” she’s taken in. (She is a very loving person. As I am sure you can tell.) Mike had very specific requirements about watching a movie with his second mom: he wanted it to be clean/family-friendly, he wanted it to be about New York, and he wanted it to be something he had already been wanting to see. Miraculously, such a movie existed. Little Manhattan is the story of ten-and-three-quarters year old Gabe, who loves eleven-year-old Rosemary. I don’t tend to have a lot of patience for children’s movies, but this one was so sweet that I couldn’t help myself. Gabe’s parents, played by Cynthia Nixon and Bradley Whitford, also had a poignant story, and we enjoyed seeing all the places we had just been walking around. If you are in the mood for something sweet and clean, give this a try. Warning: there is a lot of puking in the beginning. Apparently love makes you puke. If you’re ten.

When we got home Monday night, we watched Lars and the Real Girl, which we have both been wanting to see for quite a while. This is the story of Lars, played by Ryan Gosling, who is a nice guy, but who can’t really engage with the people around him. He purchases a doll on the internet. You know the kind of doll I mean. Her name is Bianca, and he introduces her to everyone as his girlfriend. As you can imagine, this alarms his family and friends. I expected to like it, but I did not expect to love it as much as I did. The secret is that this movie isn’t really as silly as it sounds, nor is it anything like what it sounds like when I say, “A lonely guy bought a sex doll on the internet.” Instead it’s a beautiful story of the community around Lars and how much they love him and how it changes them all. I cried. A lot. This one didn’t get a lot of publicity when it came out, and it’s kind of hard to explain, but it really is as wonderful as everyone keeps saying.

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