101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

This film stars Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom, a shy, lonely 27-year-old who takes up a mail order sex doll as a girlfriend. It’s a great example of a movie that is everything its logline is not—while the plot description might lead one to expect a prurient, broad, farcical romp, what they get instead is a warmhearted, humanistic allegory. Screenwriter Nancy Oliver, who conceived the whole thing as what she called a “what if?” proposition, is credited with encouraging Alan Ball to abandon acting to pursue his writing before American Beauty. He was able to return the favor bringing her on as a writer for his shows Six Feet Under and True Blood.