After watching David Gordon Green's second feature film, All the Real Girls, I was bewildered. I wondered why such an awkward movie would get made, and I was disappointed with the hyped director's effort. Days later, I realized what a fool I was. Green's film (following up the critically-praised George Washington) is an intimate look at a real relationship, one willing to show us silence, awkwardness and pain, unlike the colorful and happy-go-lucky rom-coms that raid moviegoers' wallets each week. My initial discomfort wasn't from poor filmmaking, but rather, from the uneasiness of watching a film that is dead-on in its portrayal of a relationship. Paul Schneider and Zooey Deschanel star as Paul and Noel, a couple whose relationship grows and falters right before our eyes. The supporting cast is weak, but unimportant compared to Paul and Noel, the showcase of Green's film. Although different in execution, the film reminds me of Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful Punch Drunk Love. Anderson and Green have more in common than just three-word names, they also successfully capture the rawness and unpredictability of love. The girl doesn't always say the right thing. The guy doesn't always make the gutsy move to kiss a girl. And relationships don't always end in happiness. We may want a happy ending, but Green and Schneider, who co-wrote the film based on their own past relationships, are here to tell us that's not the case. The ending may not be "happy," but the film's honesty is much more enjoyable and mature than your weekly trip to Chick Flick Pick of the Week.


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