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All the Real Girls

Released: 2003

Genre: Romance

Runtime: 1 hr 48 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Paul Schneider, Zooey Deschane, Shea Whigham, Patricia Clarkson

The film follows the romance between a young, small-town womanizer and his friend’s younger sister.

As a travelogue, the movie never lets the audience down.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

ALL THE REAL GIRLS is a handsomely photographed movie of little consequence by writer/director David Gordon Green (GEORGE WASHINGTON). With an improvisational feel, the characters appear to have trouble figuring out what to say or how to make their (few) points.

The story concerns the romance between Paul (Paul Schneider), a reformed do-em'-and-dump-'em playboy, and Noel (Zooey Deschanel), a willing virgin. Paul, who appears to be a new convert to the "Joys of Abstinence" after having a wild sex life for the past decade, tries to avoid even kissing Noel. Schneider, who has a choirboy's innocence, is never convincing as a young man with a bad reputation. In contrast, Deschanel, playing against her normal slutty type, gives a convincing performance that steals every scene.

The supporting cast, who play Paul and Noel's North Carolinian friends and relatives, add little. Especially disappointing is Patricia Clarkson, who plays Paul's mother. His mother is a sad woman who hides her miseries behind a clown's makeup and costume.

Although some viewers may have trouble understanding the heavy accents, the dialog is so sparse that this shouldn't prove too much of a problem. Other than Deschanel's performance, the only reason to see the movie is for Tim Orr's magnificent photography. Using mainly master (i.e., wide) shots, he captures the beauty of rural North Carolina's dense forests and smoky mountains. As a travelogue, the movie never lets the audience down. The same can't be said for its minimal story, which is too threadbare to draw us in.

ALL THE REAL GIRLS runs 1:48. It is rated R for "language and some sexuality" and would be acceptable for teenagers.