I know I’m a little late to the party, but I finally watched Garden State yesterday. It’s a little amusing to me that I hadn’t seen it yet considering how many times I have listened to the soundtrack over the last six months. Being so familiar with the soundtrack, and then experiencing the music in the context of the film, was an interesting experiment in expectations. For the most part, whomever choose the music for the film seemed to have a very personal relationship with the music they chose, and it matched the movie very well. As far as the film goes, it wouldn’t be going too far to say that this film is my favorite one that came out in 2004, with the caveat that I haven’t seen too many films. As a total work, I really feel like this movie didn’t fall short anywhere. The writing was fantastic, the visual feel of the movie was enormous, and the characters were well conceived. The use of wide lenses added a depth to the movie visually that made me want to print each frame out and hang it on a wall somewhere. I think this movie could have been set in any suburban sprawlish area, and I think most people in their twenties and thirties can relate to both the characters and the bogger theme of sorting things out in the transition to the “real world.”
This sets my expectations for Zach Braff’s future works at an almost unreasonable level, and I am probably going to have to try and keep that in check when he comes out with future work. I’ve been a big fan of Scrubs for a while, since my good friend Steve pestered me into watching it. It’s the one half hour sitcom that leaves me wanting more at the end of the half hour. On the other hand, Garden State propels my respect for Mr. Braff to levels usually reserved for the Jeff Buckley’s of the world.