Various Artists

Actor/writer/director Zach Braff's Garden State is the cinematic equivalent of good emo. In the film his characters don't do much but talk about their feelings, yet their interactions can uncover tremendous reserves of emotion. In putting together his movie's soundtrack, Braff didn't go looking for good emo; this is probably a good thing, since in a couple of years we all might be embarrassed about Coheed and Cambria. Instead, the director chose what people who are in college or recently graduated from college or wish they were still in college hang their heads to: Coldplay, Nick Drake, Iron and Wine, Remy Zero (whom I'm sort of already embarrassed about). I suppose this constitutes those folks' version of emo. Garden State is getting lots of comparisons to The Graduate, which is fair since they both have humans in them, but Braff can't really complain, as he put a Simon and Garfunkel tune in his movie. There's a powerful scene in the film in which Natalie Portman's character meets Braff's in a doctor's waiting room; she's listening to the Shins' "New Slang" on a pair of big studio headphones and invites him to listen in. I'm usually embarrassed to wear those in public.
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Mikael Wood

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