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Garden State - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

A QUIRKY romantic comedy, devised by and starring Scrubs star, Zach Braff, was one of the toasts of this year’s Sundance Film Festival when it emerged with not one, but TWO distributors.

In what is being described as an unprecedented acquisition deal, both Fox Searchlight and Miramax have joined forces to release the film, which co-stars Natalie Portman, Ian Holm and Peter Sarsgaard.

The film in question is Garden State, and tells the story of Andrew Largeman (Braff), as he returns to his hometown, in New Jersey, for the first time in 10 years, to attend his mother's funeral, and quickly finds himself becoming reconnected with the world he left behind.

While there, he meets a girl, Samantha (Portman), who may change his life forever.

Andrew’s journey of self-rediscovery is made all the more healthier when he stops taking the powerful anti-depressants he had been prescribed for years, a move which helps him to confront his psychologist father (Holm) as well as help Samantha through her own psychological issues.

The film played at the Sundance Film Festival, in the dramatic competition, and was widely praised for being ‘the kind of quirky romantic comedy that used to be a staple of Hollywood’.

 

Efilmcritic.com, for instance, wrote that it belongs on the short list of modern films, like Beautiful Girls and Lost in Translation, which engulf us in an invisible technique known as storytelling excellence.

While the Sundance website, itself, wrote that, ‘without overstating things, Garden State makes an excellent case for writer/director/actor Zach Braff evolving into the Woody Allen of his time…

"Needless to say, Garden State is clever. But it's the honesty, self-deprecation, and imagination of this study of a young man's search for himself that place it above the pedestrian reach of Braff's peers."

Needless to say, Fox Searchlight and Miramax are delighted to have acquired the film and will share equally in the films world-wide revenues.

Producer, Gary Gilbert, commented after the deal was struck: "We are thrilled to be partnering with two of the best distributors in the business... both of whom are clearly as passionate about this film as we are."

And the sense of joy translates to the cast, itself, with Portman announcing, in interview, that ‘it was so fun to work on, because everyone was really there because they wanted to be working on it, not for any other silly reasons that people sometimes use to justify their film-making.

"It's really this weird romantic comedy type thing but very strange. It's funny! I'm excited about it - I'm interested to see how audiences react to it," she added.

Audiences will be given the opportunity to find out when the movie is released in the UK later this year.

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