Garden State (2004)

Garden State (2004) movie poster

director Zach Braff
viewed: 12/02/2016

Didn’t see it in the day, that day being 2004.  Since that time, it’s lingered, maybe a bit because of the popularity of its soundtrack, maybe because each generation needs their own romantic comedy to speak to them.

I popped this one in with my kids and they liked it.  It’s mostly likable.

Zach Braff’s writing/directing/starring ode to waking up in your 20’s and trying to figure out who you are and what matters in life.  Turns out, what matters is finding your own “manic pixie dream girl”, in this case young twenty-something Natalie Portman, a wacky-crazy spontaneous chick with non-evident epilepsy.

It’s best to just embrace the fluff here because if you start scratching the surface of the deeper drama of Braff’s character’s backstory in which he accidentally devastatingly injured his mother, turning her into a quadriplegic who has just died at the beginning of the movie, drowning in her bathtub, the amount of psychosis numbed down by pharmaceuticals would have probably taken more than quitting drugs and meeting the right girl to fix.  And being more emotionally intelligent than your psychiatrist father…it turns out the whole thing is rather underwritten.

I was kind of surprised that we didn’t see one epileptic fit in the whole thing.  Isn’t that something akin to Chekov’s gun in a play not getting fired?

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