Garden State (2004)
A timely pop anthem of a film. I wasn’t a fan of it. A giddy little picture made entirely for twenty-somethings by a bunch of twenty-somethings. Roger Ebert perhaps described Natalie Portman’s character best in the film:
“She is Sam, a local girl who is one of those creatures you sometimes find in the movies, a girl who is completely available, absolutely desirable and really likes you. Portman’s success in creating this character is all the more impressive because we learn almost nothing about her, except that she’s great to look at and has those positive attributes.”
Unfortunately Zach Braff seems to resign her as his protagonist’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Aside from that, however, she (and Peter Sarsgaard) create something innately special unto themselves. Up to this point I have been describing Portman as something a young actress beyond her years, but here she seems fine-tuned as a boisterously spry and emotionally frail teenager-at-heart.