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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as Andrew `Large' Largeman
as Dr. Gideon Largeman
as Dr. Cohen
as Aunt Syliva Largeman
as Mrs. Lubin
as Karl Benson
as Handi-World Cashier
as Restaurant Manager
as Young Hollywood Guy
as Obnoxious Girl
as Gleason Party Drunk
as Neurology Receptionist
as Teen in Hallway
as Man Having Sex
as Peeping Tom
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Critic Reviews for Garden State
On the basis that it behoves all of us to keep a little nugget of our 15-year-old selves locked up in our breasts, I'm going to say this is a loveable film and that you should all go and see it to awake your inner adolescent.
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.
A witty, wacky, and wonderful trip through the minefield of being twenty-something.
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.
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.
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