||[Aug. 21st, 2004|02:23 pm]
한국 사람이 아니다
There's something about New Jersey that just attracts quirky filmmakers to tell even quirkier stories. Just in the last year, we've had Harold and Kumar, Jersey Girl, The Station Agent...and now, Garden State.
Coming out of nowhere, written and directed and starring Zach Braff (the lovable schlub from Scrubs) it's reminiscent of The Graduate and also Home for the Holidays and Grosse Point Blank, if that's possible.
It's a twisted, convoluted, exquisitely surreal tale of Andrew Largeman's trip home for his mother's funeral. For some reason, he's the only person who ever moved away; he's become an actor living in Hollywood, but he's really only had one gig. To say his family is dysfunctional is like saying Big Ben is a pretty good clock...it doesn't even begin to cover it (as I like to say, "I keep them 3000 miles away for a reason).
But he passes through scenes that become just more and more odd (an armoured knight eating cereal, a hamster funeral)...but at the same time, is it any more strange than the things he sees in LA? If anything, it's a familiar oddness...And Andrew figures out some stuff about himself that maybe he should have sussed out long ago...But what this film really does best is capture that feeling we all get when we go home, which Andrew distills into a few, spot-on sentences: "You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? That idea of home is gone. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place."