All the Real Girls Reviews
Paul Schneider delivers a sensitive portrayal of Paul, and his romantic scenes with Zooey Deschanel are quite charming. What I liked about the film was how relateable that relationship was.
Typical of indie films, All the Real Girls is filled with long pauses and understated scenes that fail to state much. I also have several plot questions. I have no idea why Noel chooses the person she chooses in the third act, and because we never see Paul being a rake and he never goes back to his old behavior, it's hard to believe all the rumors about his character flaws.
Overall, I think I like this film more than it deserves mainly because the two leads seemed like people I know or could know.
Twenty-two-year-old Paul lives with his mother and works as a mechanic in a sleepy North Carolina mill town. Charming, smart, and unambitious, he has a devoted circle of rowdy friends and a reputation as a callous heart breaker. When he meets his best friend's sister Noel, fresh from boarding school graduation, the two fall into a perfect, real, but terrifying love.
Love the simplicity of how real and raw the love story in this movie is. The characters are very realistic. You relate to one of more of them on many levels. This is not your typical Hollywood movie. These characters are every day people. They are someone you may know, or may actually come across in a small town. The two main characters are relatable for those of us who have had their first true love and all the happiness and strife that comes with it. Great cast. Zooey Deschanel is just amazingly good. Paul Schneider is very talented. He was brilliant in this movie. He also co-wrote it. I thought the scene with him and his mom in the hospital was hilarious, and also the scene with Zooey in the bowling ally is just priceless. Loved this movie.
A well made drama about two people that fall in love, however its not that simple. The performances are solid, the dialog propels it further, and the subtle approach steers the film away from being melodramatic. Its slow paced but well told.
Paul Schneider and Zooey Deschanel star as Paul and Noel. Paul is a man who's been womanizing since his early teens and Noel is his best friend's sister, recently back from boarding school. The inevitable turn involving the best friend finding out is part of the plot, but another turn is what truly turns this film around.
Director David Gordan Green has a naturalistic style that provides this movie with the right mood and sense of thought. Nothing is ever over emphasized in this movie, I found it very real and easy to relate with for various reasons.
The supporting character also add to the film, including Patricia Clarkson as Paul's mother. Its the extra padding of these characters that certainly keeps the film interesting.
Even though I've been vague on where the plot goes, this is a good story, maybe not appealing to all, but well acted and made.
Paul: Do you wanna know a secret that I didn't tell anybody ever?... You know how ducks fly home in a V? It's like a v-shape when they get home? I was walking my dog and I looked up and there's this big V above me, there's all these ducks flying back to their home. And right when they flew above me, I saw 'em and, they crashed into a big house! The whole V! And then, they hit the ground, and they just kinda curled up. You ever fucking see that? Have you ever seen a mistake in nature? Have you ever seen an animal make a mistake?
If you can find one please let me know so I can turn it on from there.
Somebody buy this for me.
Paul (Paul Schneider) is a small-town mechanic with no direction and little motivation. He's a sexual conquistador and along with his best friend Tip (Shea Whigham), has bested most of the town's female population. And everything stays the same and Paul, at the onset of his twenties, is just a bit lost. When Tip's younger sister Noel (Zooey Deschanel) returns home from school, she soon becomes the next step for Paul. At first, their love grows easily and in bursts, and Noel remains a virgin because that's what love is, or respect. Of course though, things get complicated and love gets tested. Paul and Noel find themselves dealing with grown-up problems and are forced to determine exactly how prepared they are for the hazards of life and love.
Essentially this is a story about a guy realizing how much harder love is than sex. Harder to find, harder to navigate, and so on. Paul's motivation has changed so drastically and so suddenly, even he isn't sure about his destination. And Noel is enigmatic and perfect for the guy he imagines himself to be, if not now, someday. The love story in this film is intriguing because it is simultaneously effortless and a struggle. Aside from a mild "little sister" conflict between Paul and Tip that never really has legs, this young couple floats along beautifully without any real obstacles. That is, until they get in their own way. Noel's immaturity and Paul's pride serve as the tallest hurdles in this story, and nobody can keep them from themselves as well as each other.
David Gordon Green is hard at work in this film. His approach to storytelling here is to construct with pieces of the whole, letting the gaps remain unseen and unconsidered. Time comes in bursts, a day in minutes, a week in seconds. We catch only minute glimpses of Paul and Noel's courtship, and somehow this is even more intimate than the alternative. It could be simply that we are so used to seeing a traditional love story unfold traditionally, that the contrast is that much more conspicuous. What might allow this to go deeper though is how organically the relationship builds. Without letting it get away from him, David Gordon Green is able to establish a structure that shows us not only the key moments, but the minor ones as well, the ones that reveal a personal connection as the ongoing process it must be. It's an enchantingly effective maneuver and here, the potential of the result far outweighs the risk.
The character of Noel may be the only element of the story that catches. Her dramatic leap into the world of consequences seems a bit sudden and leaves us not only shell-shocked, but unsure of what was once a constant. Gasp moments can be necessary and do nothing if not move a story forward. Still, this hinges on removing any element of doubt regarding what a character is capable of doing or not doing. Perhaps that element of doubt still exists here, and unfortunately, it weakens the character of Noel.
But All the Real Girls still flourishes. It's a fitful love story that entwines itself with small town sensitivity and the cloudy beauty of the Midwest. While emotional journeys are abundant in film, this somehow breathes with a realism not nearly so plentiful, and it is in this that the story stays visible. Paul and Noel are important because they are sincere, and it is their reality that keeps the love story real.