Elizabethtown and Garden State

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these movies for similar reasons. I love the Indie Film genre to begin with and think these two early-thirtysomething films are very descriptive about a small bit of time in the character's life.

Elizabethtown is Orlando Bloom enduring the shame and feelings of failure of a huge career mistake while having to deal with resolving his relationship to his father who has just died. He is charged with the task of retrieving his father's remains from a hick town where dad's side of the family resides, on behalf of his mom and sister. Kirsten Dunst plays a compassionate and persistent flight attendant who interjects herself into his reality along the journey and ends up making an impact for the better. Susan Sarandon plays his mom.

Garden State was written by Zach Braff, from Scrubs fame. He has an awakening during his brief visit back home to Jersey. For me, relating to the pilgrimage back East was one part of my enjoyment. Also, his experience being intensely densely packed with visits, run-ins, stop bys and emotional reminds me of any number of times everyone I ever knew seeing I was home for a visit and taxing my limitations. He is dealing with his father having kept him on antidepressants for far too long and confronting him on this issue and about being denied the grieving process over his mom's death.

Neither is a comedy but both have laughs. I could imagine myself in their shoes, having had similar experiences in my life. Both relate to self exploration and letting go which are also themes important to me.

qazrazl qazrazl
41-45, F
7 Responses Feb 25, 2009

I enjoyed both movies! I really enjoyed the quirky character played by Natalie Portman in Garden State. I thought it was a really good movie showcasing a more serious side of Zach Braff. I really enjoy Scrubs.<br />
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I also enjoyed Elizabethtown. I loved the road trip aspect of the movie! All the wonderful music and all the sites he visited! The narration by Kirsten Dunst really added to it.

Yes, I love the GS soundtrack also. Elizabethtown needed just a wee bit more edge, a little darkness to the atmosphere, and ambiance to give it a less-Pop feeling. The themes were open to do that but it reached more broad of an audience by remaining brighter. Both have inspired me to write more and believe in myself as a writer. Each had the main character have grand growth experiences in a weekend.

Garden State has a fantastic soundtrack that I listen to on a regular basis - one of the best of any recent movie, if you ask me. GS was, overall, much better than Elizabethtown, though both were sweet. Garden State really reminded me of College. And finally, I have some positive associations with the great State of New Jersey!

It's funny that you say that about that girl in Last Kiss... I think her character was designed to really bring the claws out of every woman HAHA

Ya, like I said, it had good ideas and an attractive, likeable cast. Not sure what it was that left me shrugging.

I saw Last Kiss also, and I remember not liking the girl either! I enjoy Zach but wouldn't go to the theater to see a new film he's in. <br />
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If I reeeaaallly want to see a new film in the theater and not just wait for the DVD or HBO, it's a big whoop. <br />
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The roadtrip in Elizabethtown being soundtracked and 'narrated' by Kirsten was something I related to, having done 5 cross-country, soul-searching roadtrips by myself. And I love the last scene of the memorial service "Free Bird"! And I relate to Orlando's alienation with dad's side of the family.

I've seen em both, too. I think my wife and I both enjoyed Garden State more. There were lots of great laughs and poignant moments in it. Who would have thought that Zach was such a good actor? He was also good in The Last Kiss. Man did my wife HATE the girl that he sleeps with in that movie, whew! <br />
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Elizabethtown was ok, but to me it just seemed a little too hokey. Had some good ideas in it, not sure what it was about it that didn't work as much for me.