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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.

Director:

Zach Braff

Writer:

Zach Braff
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3,651 ( 347)
13 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zach Braff ... Andrew Largeman
Kenneth Graymez Kenneth Graymez ... Busboy
George C. Wolfe ... Restaurant Manager
Austin Lysy ... Waiter
Gary Gilbert ... Young Hollywood Guy
Jill Flint ... Obnoxious Girl
Ian Holm ... Gideon Largeman
Peter Sarsgaard ... Mark
Alex Burns Alex Burns ... Dave
Jackie Hoffman ... Aunt Sylvia Largeman
Michael Weston ... Kenny
Christopher Carley ... Gleason Party Drunk (as Chris Carley)
Armando Riesco ... Jesse
Amy Ferguson ... Dana
Trisha LaFache ... Kelly
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Storyline

Andrew Largeman is a semi-successful television actor who plays an 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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Klingon

Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Large See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$201,115, 1 August 2004

Gross USA:

$26,782,316

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,825,316
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | Dolby Digital (5.1: Spanish)| Dolby Digital (as Dolby Surround 2.0: Audio Described English)| Dolby Digital (5.1: English)| Dolby Digital (5.1: Portuguese)

Color:

Color (NTSC Color)| Color (PAL)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scenes where Andrew, Mark, and Sam are walking together, Natalie Portman had a hard time keeping up with Zach Braff and Peter Sarsgaard, because they are both so much taller than her. She was out of breath after most takes, because she had to walk so fast. See more »

Goofs

In the pool scene when everyone (except for Andrew) jumps into the pool, everyone emerges from the water during the wide shot, including Sam. However, on the next close-up of Sam it shows her still underwater, before submerging. 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!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the title of the film there are no opening credits because Zach Braff hates opening credit sequences and thought they would take away from his movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Full Scale See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Eyes
Written by Cary Brothers
Performed by Cary Brothers with Jason Kanakis
Courtesy of Procrastination Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Film that Defines a Generation
10 August 2004 | by NCSAFilmGuySee 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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