A ‘Garden State’ of mind

A Garden State of mind

by Laura Dillavou

After being shipped to boarding school at age 16, AndrewLargeman is returning home for the first time in nine years.However, it is not a marriage or celebration that calls him toNewark, N.J. Rather, his mother has died and his father is closedto all communication. On top of that, Andrew has left all hisanti-depressants in his Los Angeles apartment.

“Garden State,” written and directed by “Scrubs” star ZachBraff, is an insightful portrayal of a sad, disconnected youngactor who returns home looking for his family and finds onlyuncertainty. While home, Largeman falls into the arms ofpathological liar Sam, played by Natalie Portman. Bit by bit, hiswall of fear, apprehension and bitterness is torn down.

The film is one that will make you evaluate your ownrelationships and decisions.

The turning point for Largeman is acceptance; not only from hisfather and Sam, but also from himself. And though the movie endswith more uncertainty in his life than what he started with,Largeman is happy – without Zoloft.

The title, “Garden State,” leads you further into the story. Bythe conclusion, Largeman has found that state of mind in which heis content, ready for the next challenge, and at peace with thosearound him. The film ends with an uncertain optimism for bothcharacters, something the audience has not expected.

The movie runs one hour and 55 minutes and can be seen atCentury Theatres, Jordan Creek, or Fleur Cinemas in Des Moines.