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Garden State is a dark romantic comedy that underscores the strange nature of love, and the power that people have to both hurt each other and heal each other. At the beginning of the movie, Andrew is an unsuccessful actor who is waiting tables at a Vietnamese restaurant. He receives a call from his father stating that his mother is dead, and that he needs to come home.

At the graveyard, he meets two old friends who are digging his mother’s grave, and through the pair of them, he ends up taking drugs and staying out all night. In the morning, his father books him an appointment with a doctor, where it is revealed that in addition to his other problems, Andrew is also heavily medicated for depression and other ailments, though he has ceased taking the medications recently.

The movie begins its real action when Andrew meets the off-beat and romantic Sam, a girl who calls herself a compulsive liar. Despite her eccentric attitude, Sam quickly wins Andrew’s heart, inviting him into her strange existence. As the two start falling in love, Andrew must also deal with the deep problems in his own life, learning more about the things that make him the way it is. Sam guides him through this.

In the background throughout the movie is Andrew’s relationship with his father, a psychiatrist who, it is revealed, was the one who first ordered Andrew to be put on his medications. Though at first it looks like the actions of a concerned father for his son, it is quickly revealed that they are nothing of the sort. As Andrew copes with this revelation as well as his mother’s death, he explores his home town with Sam and comes to some unsettling realizations about his own life and his family.

At the end of the day, Garden State is a dark movie that has a surprisingly uplifting and happy ending.

| 2004 | 1 hr 42 min | 7.5/10
Ian Holm, Jean Smart
Garden State
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Watch Garden State Trailer

Garden State 2004 Trailer|1:05

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