I watched Garden State with Phil last night. It had been well over a year since I had last seen it. I haven't even had my copy since January when I loaned it to someone to make a point. Either they A) didn't watch it or B) didn't get or care for my point. Either way, I've moved on and now really just want my damn movie back.
My point is, it's been at least a year since I last watched it. Maybe closer to two years. And let me tell you, a lot has happened in that time. And this is important because Garden State is my favorite movie. Not just because the action or the story or the characters are great but I watched it at a time that it really had an impact on me. No, it didn't changed me but it was just the perfect movie to come along at the time it did. I had started my sophomore year in college. I had had an awful summer in Des Moines with my family (it ended up being the last one I spent there) and, you know, I was trying to figure stuff out. I had lost that idea of "home". Not just a place, but the connections I had and the people I surrounded myself with. This has continued to evolve since then but it was really very profound then. I was shifting from being a part of nuclear family to being the oldest child in a family with newly-divorced parents. But I was also two states away and I really didn't have to deal with it. And holidays from then on out always seemed to have some drama. My sister and I were yelling at each other or my mom was annoying me or I was mad at my dad. I was never sure where it was going to come from but something was not going to go well. So, Lawrence became my home. I wrote about this before. My shift from Iowa to Kansas. But Garden State stuck with me. I had to buy a copy. I had to own the soundtrack. Every so often, it made me feel better. It's the idea that you do what you want to in life, you do the important things and you spend time with the important people. And you do your best and sometimes it still sucks. But you have to hold on to the good moments and the laughter.
But something in the last year and a half changed. The move felt different. I had the realization that most of the characters in the movie are about 26 years old. I am 26. I am no longer a 19-year-old college student. Other than that, I can't say for sure what else was different about the viewing of this movie. I still laughed, I was still sad during the melancholy moments. But there was a tone to the movie, a different layer, that I understood. The characters seemed more like peers; not the grown-ups I had thought them to be when I was 19. I can unequivocally say I was viewing the movie as an adult.
Definitely still my favorite movie.
"I know it hurts. That's life. If nothing else, It's life. It's real, and sometimes it fuckin' hurts, but it's sort of all we have."