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Andrew Largeman, an aspiring actor living in LA, returns to his hometown of New Jersey to attend his motherís funeral. Itís been almost a decade since Largemanís been home. The time has now come for him to confront his past and tie the strings that he left unbound so long ago.
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Zach Braff has created a smart, coming of age, drama filled with romance, laughter and tears. Heís captured those subtleties in life that represent the essence of our everyday interactions with one another. Not only did he write and star in the film but this was also his directorial debut on a feature-length film.
Andrew Largeman (Braff) is an aspiring, young actor living in Los Angeles He left home, New jersey, almost a decade ago and disappeared into a world of acting where the last character he has to deal with is his own. When his mother dies, Largeman returns home and his inevitable past finally catches up with him. Largemanís father (Holm), a psychiatrist, long lost his sonís affection when he started to treat him more like a patient rather than family. His father came to believe that his son was emotionally unstable and so he put him on lithium at the young age of nine. Largemanís been on some form of lithium ever since.
When Largeman returns home he makes a decision to take a break from the pills. Having felt numb since he was a child, he starts to discover himself as heís never done before and slowly his life begins to illuminate.
Largeman also meets and falls for the lovely Sam (Portman). Samís quirky, full-of-life character livens Largemanís subdued world. As their love and friendship blossoms, Largeman finally opens up and comes to terms with his troubled past.
This film is done with such simplicity that sometimes the subtle gestures and actions are easily missed. They are there and worth finding - so keep your eyes open. The cast find such comfort within their characters that itís easy to believe that they are just being themselves. The music, which won a Grammy for Best Compilation Album in 2005, completes the film overall. Itís as though the soundtrack is itís own character in the film. Braff knew what he wanted and managed to achieve a consistent, emotional balance of beautiful music throughout the story. With the combination of a great story, cast, tone, and soundtrack; this film enables the audience to become emotionally involved both in a realistic and abstract sense.
Just to name a few - Garden State won Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards and was an official selection at the Sundance Film festival.
Itís great little movie thatís well worth a watch.