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Garden State (2004)

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A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

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13 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kenneth Graymez ...
Busboy
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Alex Burns ...
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Gleason Party Drunk (as Chris Carley)
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Dana
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Kelly
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Storyline

Andrew Largeman is a semi-successful television actor who plays a intellectually disabled quarterback. His somewhat controlling and psychiatrist father has led Andrew ("Large") to believe that his mother's wheelchair bound life was his fault. Andrew decides to lay off the drugs that his father and his doctor made him believe that he needed, and began to see life for what it is. He began to feel the pain he had longed for, and began to have a genuine relationship with a girl who had some problems of her own. Written by MichaelAGodfrey@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

home | pain | actor | doctor | drugs | See All (337) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Large  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$201,115 (USA) (30 July 2004)

Gross:

$26,781,723 (USA) (21 January 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Natalie Portman was so embarrassed about the tap dancing scene that she made Zach Braff promise if it was bad that he would cut the scene entirely. See more »

Goofs

When Sam and Andrew first meet in the waiting room, there is a close-up of Sam's face smiling broadly, then relaxing her expression. She appears to do this twice, in exactly the same way, because the shot of her smiling the second time, is clearly just played/looped again, instead of her really smiling twice. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Airplane pilot: [voiceover] Los Angeles Tower, this is Transworld 22 Heavy. We are going down! Repeat, engines two and... L.A. Tower, this is... Mayday! Mayday!
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Crazy Credits

Under the "Make-up" credits....Kabuki (a traditional style of Japanese theater and makeup) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Zach Braff/Maroon 5 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Such Great Heights
(2002)
Written by Benjamin Gibbard (as Ben Gibbard) & James Tamborello (as Jimmy Tamborello)
Performed by Iron & Wine (as Iron and Wine)
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
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User Reviews

 
A Film that Defines a Generation
10 August 2004 | by (Northern VA) – See all my reviews

Zach Braff's "Garden State" manages to accomplish something that very few films have been able to do throughout the history of cinema. It is a film that speaks to an entire generation. 1947's "The Best Years of Our Lives" spoke to our grandparents. "The Graduate" spoke to our parents. "Fight Club" spoke to our older brothers working dead-end jobs in the 90's. But it is with the arrival of "Garden State" that our generation is spoken to, those of us born in the early-mid 80's who are in our late teens and early twenties trying to make it by in a environment that seems all at once to strange and yet so familiar.

Homecoming is the theme of Garden State. Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff)) has been away from his hometown of New Jersey for the past nine years and returns to attend the funeral for his mother. While having been gone, Andrew has been on lithium and other forms of anti-depressant medication all prescribed to him by his psychiatrist father Gideon (Ian Holm). Upon his homecoming Andrew has decided to take a vacation from his medication and take some time to re-connect with himself. From there the plot grows as he connects with old friends and makes new ones and discovers the joys of life and love mostly thanks to the arrival of free-spirited Sam (Natalie Portman).

Braff has written and directed scenes that qualify to go down in the movie history books along such moments as Pulp Fiction's dance sequence, and The Deer Hunter's Russian roulette scenes. Two of said scenes that come to mind are when Sam takes Andrew up to her room for the first time and does something "totally original that has never been done before in this location and will never be copied again throughout the rest of human existence," in order to ease the pain of an awkward situation. Another scene occurs late in the film when the three principals stand at the edge of a seemingly endless abyss and scream at the tops of their lungs into the gorge. It is this moment that defines, with one pure act, the epitome of what it feels to be in your late teens, early 20's looking out at life. Standing at the edge of life and screaming.

While all the acting is noteworthy, including a hilarious cameo by Method Man (yes, that's right Method Man), it is Natalie Portman who steals the show. Sam is in essence the adult version of her character from Beautiful Girls. She's 26, but an old soul. It his in her that the movie comes out the realm of quirky off-kilter comedy and gains heart, soul, and intimacy all to rare to achieve in films these days. Bravo Ms. Portman. In addition, Peter Sarsgaard is becoming one of my new favorite actors, after having seen him in this film, Shattared Glass, and Boys Don't Cry within a matter of approximately three weeks.

I will go on record an call Garden State a masterpiece. It does exactly what films are supposed to do, take from all areas of art and incorporate them into one. It is a passionate mixture of visual flare, tremendous dialogue, hip music, and heart-warming pathos. I encourage anyone who is young to see this film. See it with the people you care about, this is your film, this is OUR film, and it couldn't be better.


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