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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Garden State Review

I told Tom I'd get to this sooner than later.. Sorry, it's a little bit on the later side, but here it is.

Jen and I recently rented Garden State. I'm a huge fan of Zack Braff and Scrubs in general, but I wasn't sure about this movie at first. I was in for a shock. It is a wee bit fuzzy, but I shall try to give a decent review.

Zack Braff stars in his directorial debut with Natile Portman. The chemistry is nice, not over bearing and there are moments when they seem to react extremely well to one another. Portman completely makes up for her roles in the more-than-lacking Star Wars prequels (she's basically eye candy, and it's damn hard to play off her co-star's complete lack of talent from Anikan Skywalker/Christian Hay-whatever-the-hell-his-name-is..). She reminds me a bit of a young Julia Roberts with her wide smile, yet attractive smile. Her character is an oddball, and she sinks into it with what appears like great delight. Her bubbly character offsets Braff's mellow, emotionally repressed role. His vacant stare and sharp delivery is great. Even in the strangest situation Braff's wit shines through.

As stated earlier, Braff's character is emotionally repressed and he's heavily medicated (his father is a shrink.. his shrink to be exact). Braff seems to just be stumbling through the world in LA as a actor/waiter until the events leading him to return home sink in (no real plot destroying here). Braff's best line though is in one of his moments of realization.. "..the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore." If you've ever moved out and your parents turned your room into a hanging garden, forcing you to stay in the guest bedroom when you return home for a night or weekend you can slightly sympathize.

Overall the movie is a good rental, and worthy of owning. You get some humor that boarders on dumb, but Braff and Portman seem to realize this and deliver their lines in near perfection with some excellent wit. While the movie delivers some good humor, it isn't a comedy completely. It has it's moments of comedy, drama and delivers on a level most movies wish they could. Two thumbs up from this poor critic.

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