So say goodbye it’s Independence Day
Papa now I know the things you wanted that you could not say
But won’t you just say goodbye it’s Independence Day
I swear I never meant to take those things away

Bruce Springsteen


Garden StateLast weekend, I’ve watched one of my favorite movies again: Garden State by Zach Braff. Hadn’t seen it in a year, and now for the first time in English (way better than the German dubbed version). An amazing movie, even more if you know it’s Braff’s debut as writer and director! Besides, it has a great Grammy awarded soundtrack (New Jersey and no Bruce on it!).

Garden State is a coming-of-age story: Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff — yeah, actor as well) is returning from LA to New Jersey fro the funeral of his mother. As the plot unfolds, we learn that he hadn’t been home for nine years and was on anti-depressive medication almost all of his life. But I don’t want to tell the story here… In short: ‘Large’ is getting off the drugs and comes to life and falls in love. How could he not: back home he meets the sweetest girl in the world — Sam (Natalie Portman is just great here — she really follows Braff’s stage direction: “She’s so cute!”). She really helps him as he is thinking about his life and what he expects from it, as he trys to figure out who he is and who he wants to be.

The biggest problem of Large is his broken family, and ‘family’ really is the main topic of this movie (at least for me). I think an essential part of growing up is dealing with your former life in your family, and finding a way to exist as an independent person, live your own life. This can be really difficult for everone involved. Zach Braff put that beautifully in Large’s realization:

“You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in… isn’t really your home anymore. All of a sudden, even though you have some place where you put your shit… that idea of home is gone. Just sorta happens one day, and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know? You won’t ever have that feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself. You know, for… For your kids. For the family you start. It’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know. But I miss the idea of it, you know? Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.” *