This is one of those flicks to catch at a goofy art house theater with midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday. This movie is art in its own way, but all this ground has been covered before. All the Real Girls is a regular small-town, boy-meets-girl story. True, it’s a decidedly mature look at a relationship, but for anyone who’s lived through it, it just feels that the characters are cry-babies--whining over who fucked who and with what. The performances are fine across the board, and every character is written with a strong sense of honesty, especially Zooey Deschanel's character. View All the Real Girls the same way you would Terrence Malick's Badlands--which is to forget all that you know and have seen and just enjoy it for what it is. Or, go ahead and enjoy a drunken rant in a shanty somewhere, grumbling about the way he or she left you and watch the flick for catharsis. See it with someone you love, someone you hate, see it with yourself, or all of the above. Just don't expect that much.
This is Zooey's first lead role and she holds her own verses the dorky best-friend characters she's usually playing in flicks like The New Guy, Almost Famous and Abandon. Here, Zooey plays a rather cool and complex persona and it doesn't make you feel awkward. And for the guys and lesbians: No, she does not get naked.
All The Real Girls (3 out of Four)
R, 2003, 108 min., Sony Pictures Classics
Starring: Paul Schneider, Zooey Deschanel, Patricia Clarkson, Benjamin Mouton, Maurice Compte, Danny McBride, Shea Whigham, Music by Michael Linnen David Wingo, Produced by Jean Doumanian, Lisa Muskat, Written and Directed by David Gordon Green.
Small Town Romances:
Summer of '42, Badlands, Blaze, The Good Girl, Dirty Dancing, Doc Hollywood, Hope Floats, Murphy's Romance, Monster's Ball