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And that's the difference — Garden State was good enough to define the things that we come to hate in certain movies (and certain characters and people).
It's become a symbol for its blend of quirky, twee, morose, earnest, precious hipsterness, and it's resented for it. You might be thinking, First, it should be pointed out that basically every young male screenwriter steals from them. In an Indiewire interview from 2004, he directly states as much: "Hal Ashby in general I think is great, and Woody Allen, of course, especially films like Annie Hall and Manhattan." (Considering Braff has acted in an Allen movie — Manhattan Murder Mystery — he should get at least a little bit of street cred here.) Third, Garden State feels like something different, even if slightly.
I really think you'll want to paste it into your You Face Wallpage Feedlot!
Braff had the brass to venerate his generation without an ounce of critique, and fetishize himself in the process: He'll always be, first and foremost, the man who had Natalie Portman, playing an epileptic pixie next door, harvesting his hard-won tears in Dixie Cups.
Now we're cratered recession-era thirtysomethings with infants and anemic stock portfolios, and, looking back, we can't forgive Braff for getting us mostly right.
There are a lot of movies, much worse movies, that are as emo, as self-aggrandizing, and that feature an even more manic manic pixie dream girl, but Garden State is the one we talk about.
Have you seen the well-soundtracked garbage that was Elizabethtown (the movie that first inspired the)?
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