Unlike romance novels, I feel almost no urgency to see movies when they come out (I make exceptions for Pixar, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Robert Downey Jr). This explains why last night I watched Garden State for the first time, despite hearing buzz and recommendations and positive reviews galore over the past, oh, six years. And I was absolutely delighted.
It wasn’t just Zach Braff (who was sympathetic and altogether lovely), or Natalie Portman (whom I found utterly charming and likable), or even the story (which concerns the aimless twenty-somethings and one young man’s journey to confront Who He Is). Actually, what charmed me the most was the romance.
After all, we know about the double standard. And no, not the gender one. I’m talking about the literary double standard that pigeonholes certain plots as belonging to certain genres, even if the lines are crossed all the time. And Garden State, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, goes like this: