Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick Movie Review: Garden State


Imagine a pubescent teenager reads a psychology textbook, gets a word processor and has a rich dad. This is the sort of film that would plummet out of his scarcely formed brain cells.

It's a sort of pseudo-intellectual misery porno with Zach Braff playing the oh so tortured ex TV star reduced to working in a restaurant (oh the horror of employment!) and with daddy issues to boot, heading home for a few days to attend his mother's funeral.

While there he bumps into his old school chums, meets a girl and "gets a new shot at life". It really is as yawn inducing as that sounds.

All his friends are hateful, his father is traumatised, he gets attracted to a compulsive liar who is played by Natalie Portman. NATALIE PORTMAN! Seriously, is there any role she has ever done that someone else couldn't be an immeasurably better in? This one is almost written for Maggie Gyllenhall, though she may well have turned it down.

This is a perfect storm for me - horridly trite and wilfully earnest, it skirts the boundary between dull and hateful very well, only sliding over into genuinely hateful on the occasions where Braff's attempts to elicit my sympathy for his character are undermined by his miserably predictable depressive behaviour.

I like Braff for the most part, he's a goofy, likable screen presence in Scrubs on TV, but here he's just a black hole of self important dullness.

Suffice to say, I was not keen on this film.


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