We never discover who All The Real Girls are in David Gordon Green’s film. Like much of the film even the title has a dislocated, incidental feel to it. The film initially is equally slap-dash about its chronology – starting with the key clinch when Paul Schneider’s Paul finally kisses Zooey Deschanel’s Noel – then almost imperceptibly bouncing back to when they meet. Equally the film has a similarly contrarian view about its ending. It doesn’t quite leave us on an island choosing between safety and certain doom like John Sayles’ Limbo but we are never sure if Paul and Noel get back together. This will be infuriating to many viewers.

Others who like slow burn romance, and the unfortunately convincing portrayal of the average idiocy of relationships will enjoy All The Real Girls. Unlike many an indie film it does not make up for lack of budget with a snappy script. These small town losers do not rap about Star Wars or anything else except the occasional revelation of the smallness of their own lives and loves. Perhaps it is that these characters are already to some extent doomed like the elder generation portrayed in the film (maybe having Paul’s mother a hospital clown is pushing the twee overload button too much though). Sure they live in a beautiful neck of the woods, but the film suggests there is a lot more to life than natural beauty. Though with its open ending, it lets us choose if there even can be a happy ending.