C&R W. (unhappybirthday) Reviewed on 10/23/2011...
I so enjoyed this movie. The deep meaning. The real & brutal honesty between Noel and Paul. The music.
An underrated, lovely, well-kept secret of a movie.
Some of my favorite quotes from this film:
"I just want to make sure that a million years from now I can still see you up close and we'll still have amazing things to say."
"Last night I had a dream that you grew a garden on the trampoline and I was so happy that I invented peanut butter!"
"You're the first person that I've wanted to tell that to, 'cause your the first person that I've wanted to talk to for more than five minutes... ever."
"Nobody said we had to be perfect."
Phillip B. (pjbump) from FLORISSANT, MO Reviewed on 7/14/2010...
Unsatisfying. I can handle "indie" flicks; in fact, I rather enjoy some of the stranger stories. But I just could not get involved with this one. Zooey looks nice, as does Paul, but something just did not mesh right in my perspective. Worth a look, but it won't remain in my permanent collection.
John C. (bookwheelboy) Reviewed on 12/5/2007...
An eminently watchable movie.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Uneasy young love on a Sunday morning in Carolina
Samuel McKewon | Lincoln, NE | 03/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""All the Real Girls" lurks, and it lurks, and it lurks, until it haunts. It is a messy romance movie, a little cool to the touch, a little wrapped up in itself. But the effect is bone-rattling. I won't say much -- and I am not a planted reviewer -- but the movie confirms the arrival of David Gordon Green as a serious, in-the-game filmmaker. His pervious film was "George Washington," and it, too, was a messy tale of heroism, gothic pain and love and mortality. It was also the most visually striking film aside from "Dancer In the Dark" that I have seen in some time. "All the Real Girls" does not have the epic power that movie possessed -- "George Washington" is out of time, out of mind -- but it has a more cohesive, enjoyable narrative, it is not as weirdly symbolic and, most importantly, it's about adults. I recommend it highly, even if I think the sum of the parts do not transcend the parts themselves. I await the moment when Green makes a whole film, start to finish, possibly without a script he has written. His talent is unique and immense."
A film for those who love life
Jonathan Warner | Homewood, IL United States | 03/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Gordon Green follows up his stunning success, "George Washington" (2000), with his second feature, "All the Real Girls," a film so exceptional, I want to thank him for making it. Never has stinging heartbreak been so vivid, so ethereal, and yet so grounded. We're immersed in the Carolina countryside, the smoky mountains, sun-dappled faces, playgrounds, lakes and rivers, scrap yards, the shattered remains of a town, filled with people who have no dreams, except that which holds them closest - family and love. "Girls", at heart, is a sincere love story concerning Paul (Paul Schneider) and Noel (Zooey Deschanel). Their love deliberately avoids the clichés that most Hollywood films embrace, and instead, goes for the heart and the gut. Green sets a tone of longing and loss, feeding the mounting power of the story, but he also mixes in some unforced comedy; this is life and it feels real. Schneider and Deschanel give two varied and distinctive performances; they deserve much praise for the success of this film. Tim Orr's cinematography adds warmth and texture; he is fascinated with nature, and understands that our environment induces emotional reactions. My chest was in knots, and I soaked it up. I reveled in knowing that resolutions are elusive, that love exasperates, that films this good appear once in a blue, Carolina moon, that "All the Real Girls" is a masterpiece."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 03/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Paul (Paul Schneider) is the kind of good looking, teddy bear, cuddly, slow talkin', sly bad boy that women adore and fall hard for. And he's taken advantage of this like most guys of his ilk and has earned a well deserved bad rep for loving and leaving `em; which is particularly sticky for Paul because he lives in a small, going to seed town in middle America in which Everyone knows Everyone else... and they all know Paul's business.
Paul meets Noel (Zooey Deschanel) and he decides to change his spots and, treat her with respect and thereby repent and follow the straight and narrow, as it were. Noel has other ideas, though.
David Gordon Green, the director and writer of "All The Real Girls" has structured this movie in a very laidback, molasses in the summer manner and has cut the film into many short scenes: some with dialogue, many without. He's after the long term, not the immediate effect of these images to have their impact and for the most part he succeeds; even though the first 15 minutes of the film is hard going, as we don't know what he is trying to do and the stiffness of the actors and their delivery of the dialogue begins to get irritating.
Yet, the most touching scenes in this film are those between Paul and his Mom (Patricia Clarkson), Paul and his Uncle and Paul and his friends. His friends, all of them men in their 20's, are guys who are not afraid to open up emotionally to each other. All of these scenes are so warm and natural that they seem improvised. In fact, Gordon shows that these people, though under-educated but obviously endowed with an extraordinary amount of horse sense, have an intelligent and insightful awareness of their emotions and an appreciation of all the relationships in their lives. These scenes crackle with truth and nobility.
In many ways "All The Real Girls" owes a lot to the French Nouvelle Vague in that it is the accumulation of the images and the dialogue that ultimately hits you with it's intended effect: most scenes do not have a climax as the director builds his arsenal of scenes and moods. We are so used to the very literal, linear film that this style of filmmaking makes us antsy for the director to "get on with it." But Green is not making "XXX" here...he's trying to tell a subtle, personal love story and he is not in one bit of a hurry to do it."
Emotions Into Words
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 08/31/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In a small industrial town, Paul (Paul Schneider) has fallen in love with his best friend's sister, Noel (Zooey Deschanel). Noel's brother Tip (Shea Whigham) disapproves of the relationship because he knows Paul's ways with women. Together Tip and Paul acquired a reputation for loving and leaving most of the town's available young women. But now they are both a little older, and Paul has found a woman whom he loves to talk to and listen to. Paul desperately wants his relationship with Noel to be different from his past dalliances. Their romance goes well until a decision that Noel makes drives a wedge between them, leaving Noel at loose ends and Paul distraught and angry."All the Real Girls" is a film that concentrates uniquely on the interrelationships between a small group of people in a town where you may get the feeling that not much goes on outside of interpersonal relationships. The film was written and directed by David Gordon Green. I have to say that I have never seen emotions articulated this clearly in a film. The degree to which these characters tell each other precisely what they are feeling was almost startling until I got used to it. Paul and Noel are two young people in love for the first time and struggling to make their first serious relationship work. What makes them unique is that, instead of being afraid to share their feelings with one another, they constantly tell each other all of their hopes, frustrations, shortcomings, and anything else they might be thinking about. I doubt that this is remotely realistic in any relationship, but it is interesting to watch and wonder if this kind of openness would actually help or hurt a relationship, or make no difference at all. I give the film only 3 stars, though, for a couple of reasons. "All the Real Girls" greatest fault is that there is no chemistry between the two lead actors, and not once was I convinced that the two characters were in love, despite what they were saying. This is a serious flaw because Paul and Noel's relationship is the focal point of the story. The film is also very talky, as you may have inferred. Add to this the fact that the film's pace is unnecessarily languid, and I think that it will not maintain the attention of most moviegoers. I recommend "All the Real Girls" to those who traditionally like talky relationship movies. You might find something unique in this one. But I think that most moviegoers won't enjoy it."
Its strengths ultimately work against it
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 12/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I won't rehash the plot for you, which many previous reviewers have done quite well. To say this is a movie about "young love" doesn't give enough credit to the many layers. We see how this love affair affects not only the couple, but those close to them...friends, parents, previous lovers, etc. It is a tenderly made movie, slow to develop. No one really makes any brilliant speeches that feel like a writer labored over them...yet the people are talking all the time. Their emotions are right there to be understood by any feeling, thinking person. It's a rare thing to feel such EMPATHY for characters. In many of the scenes, we are right there with them. The filmmaker, working with a miniscule budget, has made the choice to let the ambient sounds of this little factory town just kinda wash over most of the scenes. We can almost imagine that we're looking and listening out of a window, eavesdropping on the conversations of others. This makes us realize how often when we observe film, we are being "manipulated" by professionals...ALL THE REAL GIRLS feels real.It's a heady experience, and we draw close to these characters in a way we don't often. I'm not saying that more "Hollywood" movies don't make us care about the characters...it just FEELS a little different here, and that is a kick.Everyone in the movie is excellent...but I especially commend the two women. Patricia Clarkson (so brilliant in FAR FROM HEAVEN) gives another effortless performance here. I believe an Oscar lies in her not too distant future. SHe just needs to be in a movie seen by a few more people. And Zooey Deschanel is capable of being one of our GREAT young actresses. She is attractive in a totally believable way. She has a naturalistic, unself-conscious manner...mixed with some genuine quirkiness. I like her a lot!Towards the end of the movie, the central relationship runs into some MAJOR roadblocks. These are painful, and we are eager for a "Hollywood" resolution. It doesn't come...but neither does an emotional payoff. We see how the characters lives are changed...how they develop in their understands. But somehow, just when we should be feeling it most, the characters suck their emotions into themselves...leaving us, their sympathetic viewers, out in the ocld. So, although I totally admire the movie, the craft, the totally convincing performances...I ended up leaving the movie theater feeling let down. I'm not saying the movie needed a "happy ending" or a "tear-jerker" moment...but it does take the naturalistic approach just a bit too far...it needed just a bit more "plot."By all means take a look at this movie, though. The Razor-sharp dialogue and great acting make it worthwhile."