REVIEWED
6.29.05

STORY



LOOK

Garden State
Director: Zach Braff
Year: 2004
TRT: 1:43


Dramatic comedy. Comedic drama. Where does one draw the line? Is there no such thing as boundaries anymore? Apparently not. And screw that bastard hybrid known as "Dramedy" for being such a glib and all-encompassing label that only applies to lame-ass vehicles usually starring either Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, or some other big-name star just to pass off a weak-ass script with a heart-tugging score. Fortunately, this film stars neither Tom Hanks or Billy Crystal. There's plenty of sappy music, though.

Strapped L.A. actor riddled with Ritalin (and more!) goes back home to Jersey for his mother's funeral, sans drugs. An almost surreal environment greets him as he tries to deal with the loss, old friends, his psychiatric father, and an odd lass he meets at a doctor's office.

I definitely give props to Director/Writer/Star Braff on this one, it's both real and odd enough to make it a nice watch. It's sad, though, when a movie like this gets such recognition in the press, but considering the majority of crap being produced from the Hollywood system, I guess it's really no surprise that the more enjoyable films come from the "independent" side of the equation. Sure it's sappy and a bit predictable, but nicely done moments strung together in a coherent fashion make this a nice little drama with comedic situations, drenched in a romantic cherry sauce.

Great Scene: The parting shot from a disgruntled knight. The predicament of the blind lady's dog is crude but humorous as well.

DVD Notes: Extras galore from Fox Searchlight, with two commentaries, deleted scenes including commentary if you so wish, a "making of" and a short blooper reel, including ones featuring the blind lady's dog, which, well just put things into a more realistic perspective. Sick bastards.