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When Andrew Largeman returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral, he reconnects with old friends and - since he’s gone off his depression medication - himself. A chance meeting with Sam, who also suffering from various maladies, opens his world to the possibility of rekindling emotional attachments, confronting his psychologist father, and perhaps beginning a new life.
PROFANITY: Over 30 F-words, 24 S-words, a number of others. SEX/NUDITY: Some brief sex without nudity. VIOLENCE: A brief scene of an animal attack. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. ACTION: None. COMEDY: Quirky, dark humor through verbal and sight gags; some suggestive material.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Above Average Garden State is one of those movies that fails to stay with the viewer for an extended period of time. It's a forgettable film featuring a throw-away story with unmemorable characters and unremarkable performances. That's not to say it's bad, because that would be an unfair description. But it's hard to figure out why this movie caused such a stir at Sundance.
Roger EbertFull Review Good This is not a perfect movie; it meanders and ambles and makes puzzling detours. But it's smart and unconventional, with a good eye for the perfect detail, as when Andrew arrives at work in Los Angeles and notices that the spigot from a gas pump, ripped from its hose when he drove away from a gas station, is still stuck in his gas tank. Something like that tells you a lot about a person's state of mind.
USA TodayFull Review Good Garden State is best in its edgier first half. It is as if Andrew's epiphany, his thawing after so many years of numbness, dulls the film's cleverness. But perhaps that is also the point: Tackling life with eyes and heart open offers both gains and losses.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 102 moviegoer opinions. Not too good at all. Teen males seemed to be about the only group who really enjoyed it. Adult males and females, of which there were quite a few, didn't care much for it. Only about a third really enjoyed it and that's very unusual and quite low.
If you're a male teen this movie's for you. Everyone else should proceed with extreme caution.
Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) shuffled through life in a lithium-induced coma until his mother's death inspired a vacation from the pills to see what might happen. Returning to his hometown in the GARDEN STATE, "Large" finds old acquaintances around every corner living quite unique lives as grave diggers (Peter Sarsgaard), fast food knights and the panderers of pyramid schemes. By a twist of fate, Large meets Sam (Natalie Portman), a girl who is everything he isn't. A blast of color, hope and quirks, Sam becomes a sidekick who refuses to ride in his sidecar. Her warmth and fearlessness give Large the courage to open his heart to the joy and pain of the infinite abyss that is life.