Not a lot of folks like Garden State these days. Consider: Noisey’s 10th-anniversary article, which calls it “a love story for a generation of sexually inept sociopaths.” Or Jezebel’s anniversary piece, which notes that Zach Braff has “a perfectly round mouth like a lamprey.” Why the hate? Probably because it’s a movie from 2004 about a sensitive, deep twentysomething white man, and pop culture has largely packed its bags and moved on from that cursed micro-genre.
For his part, Braff has denied that the movie is bad, though he has yet to respond to the allegations that he has a lamprey mouth. But let’s see Zach Braff deny this: Garden State would be vastly improved with an all-Dave Matthews Band soundtrack.
It’s a match made in hell. Garden State’s solipsistic hipsterism would be undercut by Dave Matthews, whose terminally uncool bleat poisons everything around him. Without Braff’s impeccably curated soundtrack, Garden State loses its trump card; the mask slips, and the emptiness is revealed.