Zach Braff showed so much potential with Garden State, I was ready to consider him as one of the best young directors working today. Except, he hasn't done much since then. I hope he continues to make good movies. But then again, if you are going to go out with just one movie, Garden State isn't too bad at all.
Garden State is a modern love story starring Zach Braff and my favorite actress, Natalie Portman. Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a withdrawn small time actor who comes back home for his mother's funeral. Portman plays Sam, who is a complete opposite of Braff's character. She is full of life and affection. Her character complements Braff's character very well, and helps to bring him out of his shell. From the beginning of the movie, you get a feeling that there is something a bit off about Braff. From his immense amount of medications and his unhappy job, you see a man who is numb, with no emotions simply going through the motions of life. Things start to change when he meets Sam and just learns to let things go and starts to feel life for the first time.
What made this film so great for me were the small idiosyncrasies of the all the scenes that just added to the overall experience of the film, as well as the great soundtrack. My favorite scene was at the pool where Braff talks about the idea of home. I have gotten to that point in my life where the place I grew up doesn't really feel like home anymore. And maybe the idea of home really is a group of people searching for the same imaginary place they can claim for their family. Garden State is quirky and surprisingly insightful movie that is definitely worth your time. You gotta go watch this one. It'll change your life, I swear.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 86% Audience-87%
Yong's Rating- 10/10 (Must See)