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Garden State (2004)

Cast: Zach Braff, Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, more...
Director: Zach Braff, Zach Braff
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Rating:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Independent, Romantic Comedy, Romance, Coming of Age
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
In the wake of his success on the hit NBC sitcom Scrubs, actor Zach Braff made his debut behind the camera writing, directing, and starring in this bittersweet romantic comedy. Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a young man who has just received word of his mother's passing. With this news, Andrew returns to the town in which he grew up, where he is greeted by his father, Gideon (Ian Holm), a psychiatrist. In addition to mourning the loss of his mother, Andrew is also attempting to adjust to life without the emotionally numbing antidepressants that he has recently opted to discontinue using. Gradually, with the absence of the pills, his reconnection with his past, and the introduction of Sam (Natalie Portman), a woman who would seem to have little in common with him, into his life, Andrew is able to see the potential for some positive changes. Also starring Jean Smart and Peter Sarsgaard, Garden State was once titled Large's Ark and premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Garden State crosses obscenity thrashhold by MMeadows November 28, 2005 - 9:10 AM PST
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1 out of 14 members found this review helpful


My wife and I turned this movie off in disgust after twenty minutes, because every third word is an obscenity or profanity. I cannot understand the mentality of an author or director who probably has a good story to tell but couches it in such unrealistic vulgarity that decent people reject it as trash. Note the word "unrealistic." I know people in every walk of life. I know people on welfare who cut wood for a few extra bucks. I am acquainted with cowboys, tradesmen, construction workers. I am friends of professors, lawyers, physicians, engineers--even a nuclear physicist. I have known hundreds or even thousands of people in my lifetime, and whether at the bottom or top of the social ladder or somewhere in between, NOT ONE OF THEM uses the kind of vulgar language I hear in some unrealistic movies such as "Garden State." I have lived for six decades and never known one single person so bereft of an ability to express himself that he had to resort to such language. I wish I understood what is in the brain of a moviemaker so far removed from reality.

numbing cascade of a abyss by reflections July 19, 2005 - 3:00 PM PDT
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
ok. this movie i saw at the perfect time in my life. although i didnt' even know who the hell who zach braff was at the time.. i found this movie to hit so many buttons inside of my soul. taking away from the hip dialogue that runs through so many "coming of age" and "teen movies" nowadays.. i found the characters interactions and words to be fresh and real.
also this is one of my favorite performances by natalie portman.. usually she is cast as somewhat perfect or way ahead of her age.. this time she was cast as a misfit struggling with her ownself.. although i found the connection between her and zach to be rather quickened.. watching him in the beginning numb and hollow.. slowly detoxing from years of nothing.. to the end.. "which although i really thought he was leaving.. which might of made the ending more perfect".. him coming back did make more sense.
this movie's soundtrack also was one that definitely deserves a mention.. the songs didn't intrude the scenes.. they lived with them.. perfect.
great secondary characters also...

Cast aside your studied and detached hipness by gophred May 27, 2005 - 1:10 AM PDT
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3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
This film is sweet, charming, humanitarian, existential and filmed in my beautiful NJ! Unless you love to wallow in your cynicism you will definitely be affected by this lovingly crafted work. It was equally and thoroughly enjoyed by both my wife and 18 year old son. We even talked about it again the next day, as we couldn't shake the lingering images and profound themes: What can we expect from our short time here on earth? Can we forgive ourselves as we make our (inevitable) mistakes? Can we do the same towards others? What is a family? What is "home"? I've watched this beautiful, funny and meditative film twice. Still I look forward to experiencing it yet again.

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GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.99)
391 Votes
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