I should preface this piece by saying that I hate writing movie reviews.
If Wes Anderson and Sub Pop Records remade The Graduate, the result might be Garden State, a contemporary bildungsroman for post-college twentysomethings.
Zach Braff (Scrubs) plays Large, a disaffected actor who returns home to New Jersey for his mother's funeral, falls for big-hearted Sam (Natalie Portman, so cute) and does what people do in coming-of-age movies.
The first hour of Garden State evokes You Can Count on Me and The Station Agent simple character-driven storytelling rife with interesting dialogue. The trailer features an edit of my favorite monologue from the movie:
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.
Anyone who's ever returned to their hometown after an extended absence can relate to what he's saying.
Also in the first hour: footage of a dog masturbating.
Sadly, Garden State takes a downturn once Large and friends set out on a scavenger hunt. Among other things, a visit to a hotel with voyeurs in the walls between rooms feels out of place and Large and Sam (so cute) share an awkwardly abrupt first kiss. Moreover, the dialogue frequently devolves into lines out of a Tony Robbins seminar.
The movie ends in an airport. You can probably figure out what happens.
Portman (so cute) salvages what she can of the final half-hour, but it's not enough to ward off a letdown.
I liked seeing Sonny fight other robots. I love it when CGI creatures fight each other. Remember the T. Rex vs. T. Rex fight in The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2? That was rad.
Also, what exactly was the point of Shia LaBeouf's character?
The Bourne Supremacy
Did the cinematographer have carpal tunnel syndrome?