Garden State (2004)
Critic Consensus: Delivering a quirky spin on familiar twentysomething tropes -- with a cannily-placed soundtrack -- Garden State has enough charm to mark a winning debut for first-time director Zach Braff.
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Critic Reviews for Garden State
Feels too piecemeal and ultimately inconsequential to grab the public where it counts.
This is a movie where 'sensitivity' and 'sincerity' are signposted by songs by Paul Simon and Nick Drake, which I guess says it all.
Mr. Braff, Ms. Portman, Mr. Sarsgaard and Mr. Holm never strike a false note as a remarkably coherent acting ensemble, and it is good to see Ron Leibman again in the small role of Doctor Cohen.
Cleverly written, sensitively directed and very well-acted.
His movie is sweet-natured and skillful, but its biggest problem is perhaps one Braff wasn't prepared to deal with: his own performance -- or, more accurately, the decision to place a deliberately flat performance at the film's heart.
Audience Reviews for Garden State
What a fine movie, finding just the right balance between humor and thoughtful scenes. Especially the writing is excellent, but so is the acting. If Natalie Portman wouldn't have gotten her Oscar nomination for Closer, she would have deserved it for her quirky, natural and wonderful performance in this. Just try not to fall in love with her character. Each awesome song from the soundtrack fits perfectly into the scene it is played in. Such a wise, sad and funny movie with a really unique atmosphere. Kudos to Zach Braff for pulling all that off. And the ending is nothing but perfect.
Touching and charming, Garden States features great performances (especially from Natalie Portman) and an interesting premise. It also contains some memorable scenes that are expertly crafted and at times smartly hilarious.
A small-time actor (Zach Braff), doped up on heroic doses of antidepressants, returns home to New Jersey for his mother's funeral and finds love with a quirky lady (Natalie Portman) while working through his family issues. The first half hour is an excellent, deadpan comedy of alienation that feels like a 21st century riff on THE GRADUATE; momentum slowly fades away as the script yields originality to the conventions of the romantic comedy genre.
Garden State Quotes
|Andrew Largeman:||There's a handful of normal kid things I kinda missed.|
|Samantha:||There's a handful of normal kid things I kinda wish I'd missed.|
|Mark:||The only thing worse than a favor is a favor involving money.|
|Andrew Largeman:||Are you doing anything right now?|
|Samantha:||Can you elaborate on doing anything?|
|Andrew Largeman:||I just know this guy Jesse who bought this mansion that's right up here and we wants me to come visit him, but I don't want to stay very long. So I was thinking if you came too I could just say I have to take you home when I'm ready to go.|
|Samantha:||Wow. That's pretty damn random of you, Andrew. Nice to meet you. Can I use you?|