Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Writer/Director Zach Braff delivers "an Oscar-worthy performance" (CBS-TV CHICAGO) in this quirky coming-of-age comedy that has been hailed as "the seminal film for today's generation" (USA TODAY). Twentysomething, emotionally detached Andrew Largeman (Braff) returns home to New Jersey after nine long years. Now, as he tries to re-connect with his past, a series of chance encounters with Sam (Natalie Portman) - a free-spirited girl who's everything he isn't - sets the stage for a fateful, mind-blowing take on what his future might hold. Co-starring Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm and Method Man, GARDEN STATE is "hilarious" (ROLLING STONE). Bonus Features: **Theatrical Feature Blu-ray **Commentary by Writer/Director/Actor Zach Braff and Actor Natalie Portman **Commentary by Writer/Director/Actor Zach Braff, Director of Photography Lawrence Sher, Editor Myron Kerstein and Production Designer Judy Becker **The Making of Garden State **Outtakes/Bloopers **Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director/Actor Zach Braff, Director of Photography Lawrence Sher, Editor Myron Kerstein and Production Designer Judy Becker
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
More surprising, or welcome, is the quirky, off-center, but somehow completely stable character played by Natalie Portman. I found her work in the STAR WARS movies plodding and flat, but she is at her best in small independent movies where her own unique personality can flourish. This is one of those.
OK, on to the movie itself. If you like your stories with a defined beginning and a completely resolved and happy ending, then this may not be for you. Think "happier" DONNIE DARKO and you'll have a bit of a feel for this movie. Though DARKO had its light moments (yeah, I went there), it was still mostly a fascinating downer. This one is more of a twisted and poignant upper. It can't be described as well as a typical movie because, well, it isn't typical.
If you like to see people suddenly breaking into dance and song for no discernible reason, if you see nothing inherently dangerous about singing and sliding on the edge of a giant waste dump that could suddenly engulf you whole, and you think jokes about psychiatrists are funny, then you will absolutely love this movie. Bonus points for including a scene with a knight in shining armor. There's too little of that in cinema. Though I did notice there were no cowbells anywhere.
An absolute gem.
After that the film comes down to earth somewhat, but it’s still full of goodies. Peter Saarsgaurd in particular creates an unforgettable supporting character while being complexly understated.
This story of an depressed actor in his late 20s returning home after 9 years has a lovely mix of quirky humor, and well-earned sadness. Braff satirizes small town America without putting it down, and pokes fun at depression and family tragedy without it feeling shallow - neither very easy feats. Great use of music as well.
Where the film falters for me is in the love story, which feels bizarrely familiar and unimaginative compared to the storytelling all around it. Also, while both fine actors, I never really felt any great chemistry between Braff and Natalie Portman. In some ways Braff's relationship with Saarsguard feels more nuanced. Last, Portman’s character feels so young, so unformed next to Braff that it’s hard to believe she’s ready for a serious relationship.
The very end has received some justifiable carping from critics as a bit of a cop out, but it didn’t bother me nearly as much as such things usually do.
But all that said, this is a terrific debut film, and a terrific film about being young and lost.