11 Nov 2014


Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

"You changed my life.  You changed my life, and I've known you four days." ~ Andrew Largeman.

Garden State (2001) - It a the story of a man medicated since he was a child finally accepting his life.

The following may contain spoilers for

Garden State (2004)


Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) is a struggling actor working as a waiter.

1a.  POV Character - Totally the POV character.
The Bechdel Test:  Sam talks to her mother (Olivia) about hamsters.  But that's it  Pass.
The Mako Mori Test:  Sam (Natalie Portman) doesn't really have an arc of her own.   Fail.

1b.  Unhappy – You'd have to feel some emotions to be happy, but he basically lives in a state of medication induced ennui.
i.  Job – Korean waiter with an obnoxious boss and limited acting success.
ii.  Relationship – None mentioned.  
ii.  Belongings – Doesn't have any to lose.
iv.  Bereavement – Returns home for his mother's funeral.
v.  Life – His life has been numb for a very long time.
vi.  His life has been broken for decades, he puts it back together in 4 days.

RULE #2 - T &A

Some underwear shots.  One scene of people spying on what is possibly a prostitute with a client in a hotel having sex that shows some nipple.  About Rom-Com level sex.


Garden State is another character study that includes a MPDG, so let's test it as Rom Com anyway.

1.  As it is a MPDG film, it's all about him and his friends.  Not followed.
2.  Rom-Com level nudity (see 2 above).  Followed.
3.  His leg is being humped by a guide dog, she laughs.  Followed.
4.  There are no circumstances keeping them apart.  Not followed.
5.  See picture above.   Followed.
6.  No break up, he plans to return home but he doesn't.  Partially followed.
7.  He gets on the plane to leave, but changes his mind.  Before that he said it wasn't going to be forever.  Partially Followed.
8.  No real redemption as no real redemption is needed.  Not Followed.
9.  Happily ever after, if he works things out.  Followed.
10.  No sequel.  Followed.


4a.  Full of energy - Certainly.

4b.  Full of contradictions
i.  Fun, but serious - Yes.
ii.  Sexual/asexual - "We're not going to make out or anything."
iii.  Romantic/shunning romance – Does seem to shun romance.
iv.  Honest & open/hiding a secret - Yes.
v.  Smart/ditsy – Doesn't act too ditsy.  Has wisdom.

4c.  Carefree - "You laugh, you know.  I don't say I don't cry, but in between I laugh.  And realise how silly it is to take anything too seriously."

4d.  Quirky - Yes.

4e.  Unusual Things - Yes.
i.  Clothing – Not too far out beyond normal casual.  Has weird headgear.
ii.  Transport – The weird transport is actually his.
iii.  House – Hamster tracks, all-year Christmas tree.
iv.  Job – Works at a lawyer office - not very pixie - but has to wear preventative covering.
v.  Objects – Tickle.
vi.  Mix-Tape - The Shins.


5a.  Tiny - Yes, it's Natalie Portman.
5b.  Cute features - Yes, it's Natalie Portman.
5c.  Girlish - Yes, it's Natalie Portman.
5d.  Clothing - Not really.


6a.  Dream Girl - Pretty much.
6b.  Dream-like - He lived in a dream-like state.


7a.  Female - Yes.
7b.  Girlish - Behaves in almost a childlike manner.


He states that she changed his life in the four days they've known each other.  It may have had more to do with him going off the medication he'd been on most of his life, but she was a moderating influence in his life.


She is a liar.  Constantly.  Her secret is she has epilepsy, but that's revealed pretty quickly.


They presumably live happily ever after.  If he can sort out his issues.  There's no sequel.


Rules followed by this film: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Clearly follows the film rules.

~ DUG.

Remember to vote here to help choose the fifth set of rules to be tested.

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