This is Tickle
Zack Braff is a funny guy. JD is a very funny, weird, and a great character in Scrubs. Zack's blog is an amusing outlet for a TV star who admits he's not perfect. When I found out about his film Garden State, my interest was piqued.
In typical indy-film style Braff wrote, directed and starred, but unlike a lot of indy-flicks some of the supporting cast is surprisingly well known. For example, Ian Holm (Bilbo) plays Gideon Largeman, the father of Braff's Andrew, and Natalie Portman (Queen Ami-who-la) is compulsive liar Sam.
Andrew is an actor who works in a sushi restaurant. He's heavily medicated, and when we first meet him, it would seem his bedroom is institution-like. Hardly living at all, Andrew is called back to his home town to attend his mother's funeral. Upon returning his strained relationship with his father is no closer to resolution; his school friends are grave diggers, fast food knights or absurdly rich; yet, he still feels nothing. Enter Sam, a free spirit who lies because it's easier, but manages to reveal the truth in others.
I wish I could see this film again. I've waited far too long to write about it.
For the work of a first time director and screenwriter, Garden State is an excellent start. The story is cohesive and very relatable. It was striking the right chords for me all the way through. There were some gaps and couple of scenes weren't as subtle, thus relied upon some cliche to get a point across, but as a whole the dialogue was witty and engaging.
Visually, Garden State was mostly successful. There was no new ground covered, but the framing and choice of angles were an asset. I liked the visual gags and didn't feel they cheapened the film's standard. I loved the bleakness, an obvious choice of style for a movie who's main character is constantly under the oppression of medication, but it provided a good canvas to work from.
There are plenty of standout moments and the fact that the audience I was part of was rather diverse is a testament to its appeal as a film. The Canadian male students behind me, to the little old lady down the row, all appeared to enjoy themselves as much as I.
It's funny, heartwarming, and for me, a little bit to similar to where I am in my life.