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Garden State | 2004 | R | - 7.3.9

A young man (Zach Braff) returns to his New Jersey hometown after nine years to attend his mother's funeral. As the days pass we learn more and more about his past and what has kept him away for so long -- for instance, he recently stopped taking powerful antidepressants. He also meets a young woman (Natalie Portman) and together they explore some unusual places and people. Also with Ian Holm, Peter Sarsgaard, Geoffrey Arend and Jean Smart Peter. Directed by Zach Braff. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - We see a man and a woman having sex (she's on her hands and knees and he thrusts from behind her), we hear them moaning and see her bare breasts and his bare chest, and people (including a boy) are watching them through holes in the wall. Young men and women play "spin-the-bottle": we see them kissing each other, two young women kiss each other, a young woman climbs on a young man's lap and kisses him, and he caresses her thighs. A young man and a young woman kiss, they sit in an empty bathtub together and kiss and hug. A young man and a young woman lie in bed together embracing (he's bare-chested) and presumably after having had sex. A group of young men and young women in their underwear jump into a pool and swim (we see one young woman from a distance and it appears that we can see her bare buttocks and pubic region when her panties have become see-through). Young men and young women dance together at a party in their underwear (young men are bare-chested and young women are in bras and panties). A young man tells a young woman that he likes her. A man talks about not being able to be aroused after he discovered his wife was having an affair. A woman says that a younger man told her "I like to mate after battle" the night before (the conversation takes place between a young man's mother and an old school mate of his, with whom she's apparently having an affair). A dog thrusts against a young man's leg for an extended period. We see a line drawing of a woman's nude torso. A young man has "balls" written on his forehead and many other sexual and anatomical terms written on his chest and stomach. A dog scratches his private parts.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A young man talks about his mother having been a paraplegic and describes the accident that caused her injuries (she fell, hitting her neck on a countertop). A young man shoots a flaming arrow into the air that lands near a young woman's feet. We hear an airplane pilot calling "mayday," and see a plane jerking and bumping with passengers panicking (it's a dream). A woman holds a dead hamster in her hand and a young woman buries it in a hole in her backyard. A young man grabs another young man and holds him upside down. A police officer pulls a young man over for speeding, he pulls his revolver and waves it in the air (in a joking manner). Two Dobermans jump on a young man and bark aggressively. A young man talks about being beaten up in school. A young man gets a telephone message that his mother has died by drowning in her bathtub. On TV, we see an alligator attack a young deer.


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LANGUAGE 9 - 49 F-words and its derivatives, 4 sexual references, 27 scatological terms, 15 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for the mentally handicapped, 4 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, take ecstasy and snort cocaine in several scenes. A woman goes off to a meeting that may have been for drug or alcohol addiction but it is not clear.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of a parent, being happy, family, strained relations between parents and children, missed opportunities, guilt, stress, repentance, belief in God, epilepsy, being unique and original, home.

MESSAGE - Don't ever pass up on an opportunity to find love. Apply yourself. Life is uncertain and unpredictable but this is all there is.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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