Thursday, 19 May 2011

Review - Garden State (2004 - Dir. Zach Braff)

I don't normally like romantic comedies. Truth be told, I'd rather have intimate fun with a cheese grater than watch a romantic comedy. But this looked a bit different and had some good reviews. May as well give it a go...

Written, starring and directed by Zach Braff (Scrubs) - again, this didn't bode well - I was pleasantly surprised by it. His direction is of the non-flashy variety. He uses a lot of locked off camera shots. Always a treat. When he does use other techniques, such as varying the speed on the camera, it works in the context of the film; the well-chosen soundtrack, although not to my taste, helps to tie everything together.

Not exactly a big belly laugh comedy, mostly smile humour, but there are a few chuckles to be had. I didn't expect it to be this subtle. Natalie Portman is the love interest - mmm, Natalie Portman, and she's great in this. In fact, she's probably the best thing about the film. She plays a compulsive liar with epilepsy who verges on the quirky side of things. Way better than other romantic comedy leading ladies. Not that I watch any. I just know.

There is a fair bit of cheese involved in the ending but let's face facts, it is Natalie Portman. I'd run back to her if it was me. Cheese or no cheese.

All in all a surprisingly likeable film. At least now I've done my rom-com duties I can get back to horror.

If you like this you can try:
Waitress, Ghost World, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Antichrist (okay, maybe not Antichrist).


  1. Had a stinking cold yesterday so watched this in one sitting. I agree it's way better than expected but ultimately goes nowhere and perhaps the 7/10 is a little generous. I'm not that keen on Natalie Portman to be honest either. File under good rusbbish.