All the Real Girls

August 1st, 2003


All the Real Girls

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Still of Zooey Deschanel and Paul Schneider in All the Real GirlsStill of Zooey Deschanel and Paul Schneider in All the Real GirlsZooey Deschanel at event of All the Real GirlsMaurice Compte, Paul Schneider, Shea Whigham and Danny McBride in All the Real GirlsDavid Gordon Green in All the Real GirlsStill of Patricia Clarkson and Paul Schneider in All the Real Girls

Small-town love story of a young man with a reputation for womanizing and his best friend's sister.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.0/10 (6,741 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: David Gordon Green

Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson

In a small Southern American town, Paul, who is known for having sexual relations with every girl in town, falls in love with his best friend's younger sister who is a virgin. Paul must try to prove to everyone that this time he is in love rather than in lust.

Writers: David Gordon Green, Paul Schneider

Paul Schneider - Paul
Zooey Deschanel - Noel
Shea Whigham - Tip
Danny McBride - Bust-Ass
Maurice Compte - Bo
Heather McComb - Mary-Margaret
Benjamin Mouton - Uncle Leland (as Ben Mouton)
John Kirkland - Justin
James Marshall Case - Judge Harvey
Patricia Clarkson - Elvira
Maya Ling Pruitt - Feng-Shui
Eddie Rouse - Dancing Orderly
Karey Williams - Tammy Clinard
Matt Chapman - Strong Bad
Amanda Chaney - Girl on the porch

Taglines: Love is a puzzle. These are the pieces.


Official Website: Official website [United States] |

Release Date: 1 August 2003

Filming Locations: Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $46,791 (USA) (16 February 2003) (7 Screens)

Gross: $548,712 (USA) (6 July 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Matt Chapman plays Strong Bad, who is also one of the characters that Chapman performs the voice of for the Web animation "Homestar Runner."

[first lines]
Paul: What are you doin'?
Noel: I'm looking at that bucket... thinking... why haven't you kissed me?
Paul: 'Cause... I'm afraid... I'm afraid that... when Tip asks me if I have kissed you I have to say "yes".

User Review

First Love: Appalachia or Gotham, the Pain's the Same

Rating: 8/10

Low budget and low tech, director David Gordon Green's "All the Real Girls" first struck viewer nerves at Sundance and it will do so everywhere.

Set in Appalachia with shots of the beautiful mountains juxtaposed with a town that never knew prosperity and is left behind in today's North Carolina where the Research Triangle is where it's at, this is a truly affecting and universal story of first love. It's told honestly, without either director's affectation or cast overacting. The story has soul.

Zooey Deschanel plays, outstandingly, a girl, "Noel," returned from boarding school where she's been since age twelve. She plays the trombone and doesn't want to go to college. She's never had a real job and seems not to have acquired much if any ambition or sophistication while away from home. She's a virgin and it's clear that hardly any of her contemporaries who didn't leave town are even remotely chaste. In fact, the suggestion is that most sleep with virtually all the young guys. Including two, "Paul," played by Paul Schneider and his best friend "Tip," portrayed with a brooding intensity by Shea Wigham. Tip is also Noel's brother and protective of her he is. So when his formerly carefree gangbanging bud, Paul, falls head over heels for Noel and she reciprocates he has issues.

The story is universal: the joy and pain of a serious first love, the pitfalls of communication, the unawareness of how words told and events improvidently related can be like mines going off. The simple but inevitable price exacted by inexperience and not just sexual.

There is a quiet and achingly familiar reality to Noel's and Paul's relationship. Anyone honest will recognize himself or herself from some early life. Anyone who genuinely doesn't has missed some pain but at a price. Director Green unflinchingly unravels the mysteries of growing wiser, a necessary but in some ways sad departure from innocence.

Without drugs or crime or a social commentary on the moribund economy of a gorgeous region, the film focuses on the two young people and their families and friends. They are recognizable, worthy of caring about.

When Paul, trying to understand Noel's not wholly consistent emotions and actions, blurts out that he's not that smart, a number of people in the audience chortled and several yelled out "No, you're not." They didn't understand that his comment wasn't self-denigratory but a nakedly honest confession of confusion and fear of loss. Haven't we all experienced that?



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