Remember when everybody loved Garden State? Strange as it seems, Zach Braff's directorial debut was widely praised on release - so why has its reputation curdled so dramatically in recent years? Louise Ball joins us this week to discuss Manic Pixie Dream Girls, alarming animal cruelty and to help pitch the sequels that none of us actually want to see...
Released in 2004 at the height of Zach Braff's Scrubs fame, Garden State was a slow-burn box office success, grossing over $35 million against a $2.5 million budget, bouyed by a Grammy-winning soundtrack and enthusiastic reviews. Despite this initial success, the movie later attracted criticism for its ponderous exploration of mid-twenties ennui and the characterisation of Natalie Portman's female romantic lead as less a recognisable human being than an infantilised collection of infuriatingly self-conscious quirks.
Is Garden State totally without merit? We didn't quite think so. In this episode we discuss some of the reasons the movie was initially so successful - as well as the many elements that have aged poorly in the cold light of 2018. In pitching our own sequels, one of us attempts to inject some excitement by splicing the cast with a modern sci-fi phenomenon with an equally iconic soundtrack, one of us digs into the appalling animal cruelty hinted at in the original film, and one of us decides to ditch the insufferable central duo altogether and allow some of the movie's most memorable supporting characters to take centre stage...
Beyond The Box Set is a top ten TV & Film podcast officially rated 'Binge Worthy' by Apple Podcasts. Each week, we take a classic standalone movie and compete to pitch the most ridiculous sequels, prequels and spin-offs to bring them back to the big screen.
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00.00: Natalie Portman is not a natural laugher
22.15: Garden State Drinking Games
31.05: Garden State 2: Velcro Bad Things
46.40: Garden State 2: Pet Sematary
52.50: Garden State 2: The Infinite Abyss
1.03.10: Listener Submissions & Episode 54 Preview