To me, this is either a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be – a comedy, a drama, a surreal trip, a romance – or, a movie that knows exactly what it is, and just wants to please as many people as possible. I think most people will find something to like in Garden State, but I can’t quite understand how so many seem to be loving everything in it.
I loved a few of the quirky comic moments – the neurologist whose certificates have climbed up the wall onto the ceiling; the chinese waiter with water buckets hanging off his shoulders, asking a customer, still or carbonated? (or something to that effect); the woman singing “Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady,” at the opening funeral.
I wanted to love Natalie Portman in this film: I always want to love Natalie Portman when she’s in a new movie. But this goes in the same box as Anywhere but Here, Where the Heart Is, and, well, the Star Wars movies. My hopes are high for her performance in Closer; I really hope I’m not disappointed again.
I’m astonished to see the movie in the IMDb top 250 list (I know, I say this about entries so often I should simply start to ignore that list; but it always remains the best list online despite the few insane entries); I just found absolutely nothing about it to be unique (and Natalie Portman spends a whole scene talking about just that, uniqueness and originality).