Weekend Movies: Men Who Can't Cope

Ryan Gosling in 'Lars and the Real Girl' i i

Ryan Gosling carries a carnation — and an unlikely torch — in Lars and the Real Girl. George Kraychyk/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption George Kraychyk/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Ryan Gosling in 'Lars and the Real Girl'

Ryan Gosling carries a carnation — and an unlikely torch — in Lars and the Real Girl.

George Kraychyk/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke i i

Brothers grim: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke measure down in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Will Hart/THINKFilm hide caption

itoggle caption Will Hart/THINKFilm
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke

Brothers grim: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke measure down in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Will Hart/THINKFilm

Now starring at the cineplex, it's under- performing males — from the Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke characters in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead to the trio of brothers at loose ends in The Darjeeling Limited to the figure of Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division in the biopic Control.

NPR film critic Bob Mondello says this fall's collection of losers leaves no question: "We are the weakest sex."

Before the Devil, from Hollywood legend Sidney Lumet, is a gorgeously acted film with a roller-coaster of a plot, Mondello tells The Bryant Park Project.

He also weighs in on Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling in a genuinely sweet story about a guy with an inanimate girlfriend, and the indie road-trip flick Wristcutters: A Love Story. It's a love story that unfolds in the afterlife — with a surprise second-act appearance by Tom Waits.

All this comes in the wake of The Heartbreak Kid, about a man so unable to commit that he falls for a woman he meets on his honeymoon, and Knocked Up, the summer hit about a man-child who's about to be a father — and is soooo not ready.

Bob Mondello's Short Takes

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