Garden State


Zach Braff's self-written, self-directed, self-starring debut

Natalie Portman dons her manic pixie dream-girl hat to charm Zach Braff in his self-written, self-directed, self-starring debut.

His protagonist, a TV actor struck down by existential angst (presumably not a huge leap) is at times too much of a blank slate, while Portman’s flighty femme veers infrequently past endearing into irksome.

Your enjoyment of their mumbly courtship dance will depend on your tolerance for kook, but amid the spontaneous tap-dancing and would-be profound platitudes are moments of real poignancy.

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