All the Real Girls [2003]

Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson, Shea Whigham, Danny McBride
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 108 minutes

You'd think moviemakers would have run out of new ways of capturing the trials and joys of young love--but director David Gordon Green finds a fresh take in All the Real Girls, a bittersweet small-town romance. By leaving out the usual humdrum exposition of a courtship story, Green cuts right to the little moments that form the high and low points of a budding relationship. It's an impressionistic style aided by the wonderfully spontaneous and unpredictable acting of Paul Schneider (who also co-scripted) and Zooey Deschanel--who look like they're improvising, even though they're not. As in Green's excellent debut feature George Washington, a small town serves as an atmospheric backdrop--this place looks a couple of decades shy of the 21st century. The mosaic approach makes the film play like a collection of memories, someone's first love recalled with fondness and just a bit of regret. --Robert Horton

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