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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 8.33%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 2.08%
Sucks: 6.25%

5 reviews, 18 user ratings

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All the Real Girls
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by Dr Nick

"Love is a complicated, beautiful mess"
5 stars

Itís not every day you get a film that manages to give a realistic portrayal of young love, without ever descending into a mushy goo of sentimental crap. All the real girls however, manages to do just that. One of the most honest and realistic films about growing up and falling in love that I have ever seen, this is everything Dawsonís Creek so hopelessly wishes it was.

Set in an unspecified small town, the film follows a group of locals; young adults who, for a variety of reasons, hasnít yet managed to leave their parents. Noel has been away to an all-girl school for a number of years. When she returns to her hometown she falls in love with Paul, notorious for sleeping around, and also her brotherís best friend. The film deals with Noelís and Paul relationship, how it affects the people around them, and ultimately how they change as people during the course of the summer.

As you can probably guess, not a whole lot happens in the film. Thereís the occasional outburst of violence and loud arguments, but for most of the time, we just follow the main characters as they go about living their lives. At first, Paul is very hesitant at the thought of sleeping with Noel, when he finds out that she is a virgin. With all his experience, and regretting all his past sexual encounters, he does not know how to handle a situation like this. When Noel goes away for a weekend with the girls, something changes inside Paul. With her away, he realises how much she means to him and how much he has changed because of her. When she returns, however, she has some bad news. During the weekend, she lost her virginity during a drunken fling with a stranger. This is a huge blow to Paul, and during what is the filmís weakest, perhaps even only weak scene, he breaks up with her. But, itís not as easy as that. In small towns like this, itís hard to avoid each other. Having a similar circle of friends doesnít make it any easier. Should Paul forgive and forget so that they can live happily ever after? Is he better off without her? Well, thereís only one way to find out, folks.

This film is very special. Dealing with love, the most common subject of all, it succeeds where most other films fail miserably. It manages to turn this complex feeling into realistic images, portraying relationships the way they usually are and not to some fake romantic notion of how they should be.

Itís hard to escape ones past, especially in a small town like this. Everywhere Paul turns for advice, he is knocked back by other peopleís memories of his past. His best friend does certainly not consider him a worthy guy for his little sister, but in the end he accepts it, if for nothing else then just because thatís what friends do.

You can almost understand why Noel would sleep with a stranger. Being hopelessly in love with a guy who is afraid to touch her, she probably even thinks that it would make things better between them. But it only brings her down to the level of his past, a past he despises, and in turn makes him despise her.

What I especially liked about this film are the slightly surreal short scenes, which keeps popping up every now and then. A dog without hind legs limping across the screen, Paul dancing behind Noelís back in the middle of a lane in an empty bowling alley and refusing to let her watch. These little strange things that happens everywhere around us, and the strange little things people do, are almost always left out of films. Here they fit perfectly and add an extra element of realness to the film.

A beautiful film, which is bound to touch even the most hardened souls. Disappointment, betrayal, lust, fear and some occasional happiness. Thatís young love for you.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6906&reviewer=345
originally posted: 08/02/04 08:11:59
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/19/09 Kazelxmf Hi webmaster! cnf 4 stars
2/12/06 tompkin great soundtrack album! 4 stars
1/21/06 aimless contrieved self-congratulatory, "Tully" is way better 2 stars
12/05/04 Natasha Theobald it had me for a while but lost me at some mid-point a bit 4 stars
10/04/04 idiotsdelight Incredibly banal characters and coversation - total waste of time 1 stars
5/05/04 A F Wow. One laughing my ass off, next holding back sadness. Emotionaly Exhausting 5 stars
9/25/03 Kimberly Very subtle and poignant film, while still making you laugh. Excellent and highly recommend 5 stars
9/16/03 matt simple, elegant and beautiful to both look at and think about. fantastic 5 stars
9/12/03 Sheri incredible 5 stars
8/01/03 stavroula painfully bad; trite dialogue, bad direction 1 stars
6/30/03 Derek Vincent nothing better than a sweet virgin ass, properly basted with BBQ sauce and ether 5 stars
4/08/03 David Serxner Super movie!! Lyrical 5 stars
3/27/03 Mike Seely The love child of Harmony Korine and Paul Thomas Anderson. Masterpiece. 5 stars
2/28/03 Pete best film of 2003 so far without question. haunting funny and perfect acting 5 stars
2/11/03 SG Loved it! 5 stars
2/11/03 aks treacly and disingenuous 1 stars
2/02/03 Kris Morrison Enjoyable yet realistic story of young love 4 stars
1/27/03 tony gregg I SO enjoyed this film.......the acting was right on and it left me wanting more. 5 stars
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  14-Feb-2003 (R)
  DVD: 19-Aug-2003



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