August 26, 2004

My Garden State Review

This is the extra short review: Go see Garden State. It's great whether you're a fan of Scrubs or not.

Here's the somewhat longer review: Garden State is great because of everything it is and everything it isn't. This is NOT a Hollywood coming of age "it's exciting to be alive 'cause everything is super" movie. This is NOT a bleak indie film about angsty twentysomethings realizing the purposelessness of it all. But it IS sweetly uplifting story about realistically and seriously flawed people in rediculous and cliched but believable situations. Sweet like a carrot, not that sour powder you dip the suger stick in. Some poster in a comments section put it best when he said that this movie is realistic because, moreso for this generation of twentysomethings than ever before, our live ARE rediculous and cliched.

It's precisely the bridge between indie and Hollywood that this movie sits on which gives it all of its best qualities. In indie fashion, it pays way more attention to making the perifery characters real and sympathetic than it had to. There aren't any villains or clowns in the movie because they're all too real to fill such a simple empty role. But the film doesn't devolve into a depressive "you can't ever know anything or anyone" attitude that it could have when dealing with young people without any focus.

This is one of the few movies that I've been to in a long time that really took me on any sort of emotional ride and it works because it's simply honest. You never feel like you're not watching a movie, but it doesn't feel, as many movies do, that they're trying to con you. Like they want to to cry so they swell the emotional strings, or want you to laugh so they put in a zany sound effect. To me, the best analogy is that Garden State is the The Breakfast Club of the '00s.

Incidentally, Zach Braff has a decent blog for the movie and the new Scrubs season, continuing arguably the best show and certainly the best comedy on TV, starts this Tuesday. I just wish they'd move it back in the pre-ER slot. That was a great dichotomy.

1 comment:

MosBen said...

To get my geekiness out of the way, the title for this post is a VERY obscure Scrubs reference.