All the Real Girls
2003
Paul (Paul Schneider) lives large in a small Southern town, where he's made a sexual conquest of nearly every single, eligible female. Every one, that is, except for his best friend's sister, Noel (Zooey Deschanel), a committed virgin. When Paul falls unexpectedly for Noel, he swears he's not out for sex and seeks to prove it to her with his actions. But Paul finds love much harder to manage than plain old-fashioned lust.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

This is not a film for everyone: It demands great patience, and forgiveness for its characters’ misdeeds. But its reward is a perfect image of a young couple just learning the words to express what they’re just starting to feel. So many scenes may seem frivolous, but there’s a rich hidden layer of meaning here, spread liberally across bleak and beautiful images of North Carolina. At first it seems like the work of a perceptive female director, but eventually it’s clear, this is the work of a man who wants to communicate how love felt when it happened to him.

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