If someone had told me this was directed by the guy who did Mr. Woodcock and most of the humor revolved around a sex doll, I wouldn’t have gone near it. But Lars and the Real Girl is both hilarious and poignant, with a Capraesque humanity that caught me completely off guard. An awkward young man in a small Minnesota town (Ryan Gosling) invites his older brother (goofy Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer) to meet his new fiancee, but to their horror and embarrassment she turns out to be made of rubber. The local psychiatrist (Patricia Clarkson) advises them to play along with his delusion, and eventually the close-knit religious community, moved by concern for the brothers, joins in. I’m not sure there’s still that much compassion in the world, but in keeping with the spirit of the movie, I was willing to pretend. Craig Gillespie directed a script by Nancy Oliver (HBO’s Six Feet Under). PG-13, 106 min.