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Garden State (2004)

Garden StateFour Stars

Who’s in it

Natalie Portman, Ian Holm, Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard

What was good

I thought this was a cool story that was told backwards, and it worked really well. It starts out slow but as you get to know the main character (Braff) you start to realize why he is the way he is, slow, dopey, and he barely talks. Braff is grown up, working at a dead end restaurant job and his father calls to tell him his mother died and the funeral is during the next week. This takes him back home, to the typical small town where he has some fame for writing a script for a tv show. But nothing excites him and we really start to relate why.

What sucked

The beginning was terribly slow, and looking back I think it could have been explained a touch better. You never see Braff with pills and I think so little detail is covered that you can’t even look back towards the end of the movie to make the connections, “Oh, I remember that, that is why he…”. If you don’t appreciate small time folks and the things they do to stay entertained, some of their activities are annoying and make you cringe but life in a tiny city can be darn boring.

Who should go see this

I would recommend this to my friends. There is a great love story that develops between Portman and Braff that gets a touch too sappy at the end of the movie, but otherwise this movie has a decent amount of humor with a lot of serious moments. This is the second or third movie that I have seen Portman play this cute really young girl that older guys are attracted to. I like the role, but I don’t want to keep seeing her play it, it seems a little wrong for how young she postures to be. But, a select group of 20-30 somethings would like this if you they liked other movies then goofy comedys.

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