Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 July 2004

REVIEW: Garden State

I saw my favorite movie of the year so far. It is called Garden State, and it was directed by Zach Braff who is on a TV show called "Scrubs", I guess.
The movie stars Mr. Braff, Natalie Portman, the always great Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm. (Look for a cameo by George C. Wolfe, as well). I am not sure if I know how to accurately describe Garden State. It is about a young man who returns home from Los Angeles to New Jersey for his mother's funeral. It is, however, not a realistic movie, by any means, and I think has more in common with P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love and Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind than anything else. But it is a simple story of friendship and new love and learning to forgive.
I wish I could describe what the movie meant to me. I saw it with my friends Justin and Elizabeth, and I don't think they liked it quite as much as I did, but it meant something else to me. It grabbed me in a very different way. It captures something about people in their early twenties. The protagonists are twenty-six, and there is something about these people my age who are struggling to find meaning, to find a goal. The movie is just incredible. I'm going again, and I'm going to take as many of my friends as I can. There is some chord in this film: the music, the surrealism, the numbness that just got me and meant more than anything I've seen so far this year.

Go see it. This is an extraordinary film that just... feels like home.