Garden State

By on Tuesday, 29th May 2007 at 9:35 pm

Garden State - Largeman's Last night I watched Garden State again, one of my favourite films that I’ve neglected for the best part of 6 months. Its one of those films that restores your faith in humanity – even though shit happens and you come across undesirable people and practices, there are still things at the end of the road that make the journey desirable.

Incredibly introspective, the film depicts Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff from Scrubs) returning home for his mother’s funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. He goes on a journey through his home town, quickly falling for Sam (Natalie Portman).

It was Zach Braff’s first film that he both wrote and directed, and was a huge hit with the critics, containing some amusing dialogue and also quite introspective:

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew Largeman: You’ll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it’s just gone. And you can never get it back. It’s like you get homesick for a place that doesn’t exist. I mean it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

Garden State - Feeling a bit dampFor me, its the little things that make this my favourite film. When Zach goes to the restroom, he walks out past a row of sinks, and they all turn on and off in quick sequence as he walks past. Little things that just pass by in the blink of the eye but reward closer watching.

The soundtrack is also sublime, giving bands their (relatively) “big” breaks – bands like The Shins now cannot get through an interview without a mention of Garden State. For me, there is a scene where Sam is “tap dancing” in front of the fire with Remy Zero’s “Fair” in the background which is just magical.

If you haven’t already, go and get Garden State out from your local independent video store, or your library, or Blockbuster if you must.

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