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Go See Garden State

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From my blog

You have to see this movie. Even if you’re not from Jersey, which, the movie ironically has little if anything to do with, (perhaps only in the fact that parts of the movie are depressing, as New Jersey is often reputed to be. Who knows?)

Here’s what Zach Braff, star of Scrubs, writer-director and lead actor in this movie writes about what this movie is about:

“What Garden State’s really about is how short life is. And how we get caught up in so many entanglements and insecurities and worries and obsessions and trivial arguments while life races right by us shaking it’s head at how seriously we take ourselves. Keep in mind that the sun’s gonna burn out in about a million years and truly nothing will have mattered.”


I was not expecting a movie that would make me think when I went to see it.

As Mr. Braff says, the intention of the movie was to demonstrate how silly it is how seriously we take life and its trivialities, I was struck by how simply it treats life and many of life’s depressing circumstances. One of the lessons of the movie, as said by Natalie Portman’s character is to laugh at life, which of course is good advice to follow, but considering some of the circumstances of the people’s lives in the movie, out of the context of this movie one would find it hard to laugh, though we should anyway.

The entire movie is very simple, without much of a plot or story. The gems in this movie are the dialogue, the characters, and, dare I say it, the acting. Natalie Portman is simply amazing. As is her character. If living through 15 years of a drugged up existence as Braff’s character does is necessary to meet her character, well sign me up.

For the first hour of the movie I was looking for scenes that would provide the plot twist, the problem that must be solved for the movie to come to a conclusion, or even a climax to the story or action. I soon realized, “You know, this movie would be much better without anything like that”, and I got what I wished. Braff writes a simple movie that continuously, from start to finish, makes going through life seem ephemeral and consequently easy to go through.

This is a feel-good movie of the oddest sort. In most feel-good movies, you feel good because the movie shows a lot of happy things. Garden State is the best kind of feel good movie, one that shows you both happy and sad things, but makes you feel good about it all in the end.

If, somehow, this review has made you want to see the movie less or not at all, please go see it, if only to see Natalie Portman smile.

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About vilasrao

  • Just to add, I remeber once sitting at this party, much like the opener in the plane, with soo much going on around me andI was kindda lost, analysing my life. Dang, I’m going to rent this again…had totally forgotten it!

  • Charlie

    I concur. Brilliant flick, it is. Nice and simple plot, they way life should be!