Friday, September 10, 2004

beauty in the breakdown

Recently I saw "Garden State," a movie written, directed, and starring Zach Braff, the guy in that Scrubs show on television. Turns out the movie, or rather Zach himself, has a blog and an official web site for the movie.

I had really high expectations for the film. The buzz has been pretty loud and reviews have been quite positive. Then I heard an interview with the director on NPR. He mentioned this book, The Quarter Life Crisis, that's been in the back of my head since graduation. It was published that same summer and a very dear friend and I spent numerous hours around tea cups or late night ice creams talking about what I thought might be one of the themes of the book: how frustrating it was to try and answer the endlessly repeating questions, all basically versions of "What do you want to do with your life and why haven't you started doing it yet?"

I didn't read the book that summer, but after seeing the movie and hearing the director mention it during his interview, I did check it out of the library. My first reaction is the same as my last: give me a break! I'm no psychologist, but I'm guessing the last thing "Garden State's" main character (or any individual who's wrapping up the first quarter of life) wants to hear is example after example of how "Susie" chose personal fulfillment over big bucks or big hunks and so ultimately achieved true happiness. Gag me!

Beside the great soundtrack, the movie hints at success without absolving challenges or ignoring difficulties. It's simple, in a complex kind of way.

In the end, I'd still suggest the cups of tea, the late night ice creams, and investing in a movie ticket, not a book sale. "Good luck exploring the infinite abyss."



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