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All the Real Girls

Director:  David Gordon Green
Year Released:  2003
Rating:  1.5

Answers the question: what would two of borderline autistic young people who fell in love sound like (and, what would their similarly-disabled friends sound like)? Green's follow-up to the emotional and surreal George Washington tries to show the nuances of young romance, but instead the film is submerged under the weight of its countless ridiculously cutesy Precious Moments, like when the two are standing in the middle of a bowling alley making an arch, or when we see a dog with only two functional legs, or whenever anyone tells some quirky story from his or her past. The film clearly idolizes the miscast main character, Paul (Paul Schneider), who despite having a questionable past, is kind to retarded children (always a good sign) and claims that he wants to improve himself, and views Noel (Zooey Deschanel) as an object of scorn, having her do cruel things to the main character to 'punish' him and then neglect to have the film explain why: in the lack of explanation, it's suggesting that 'real' girls are flighty and malevolent. As for the Paul character, it's 'sad but true' when he mistreats these women of his past (we're shown snippets via flashbacks), but yet when he gets cheated on, cue slow-motion shots of mountains, trees and the countryside because then - and only then - is it really the end of the world.

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