- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Jan
Zach Braff, star of TV's Scrubs, emerges as an auteur-in-the-making with his first film, the romantic comedy
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) is somewhat impressed. "Well written and acted, the visually quirky film … offers witty observations on family, loss and America's fascination with pharmaceutical solutions to life's problems. However, the movie's hope-affirming message is weighed down by its catatonic talkiness."
J. Robert Parks (Looking Closer) says, "
"I genuinely related to [the main character's] struggles, his hopes, his fears, and his feelings," says Josh Hurst (Reveal), who calls it his favorite film of 2004 so far, and describes Braff as "a formidable new force in filmmaking. This is obviously what Braff was born to do; he's got a great eye for directing and a great heart for storytelling. And he ain't bad at picking a cast, either. He also has a knack for small details; there are enough subtleties and nuances in
Ronnie Fauss (Relevant) says the movie "will likely pull you in to the point that you find yourself hopelessly in love with the characters. Issues such as redemption, acceptance and romance are attacked with a level of ferocity that is seldom seen in Hollywood. But it is the idea of 'going home' that is explored more than any other in this film. This issue seems to be why the movie resonates so loudly with twenty and thirtysomethings, as the loneliness that so many of us feel in this stage of life is addressed with an unflinching authenticity."
Jonathan Rodriguez (Christian Spotlight) agrees that it's "a well-written, very well acted film," but he complains that it "never gets us involved, never really makes us truly care about the plight of its characters. It's sad, but the
Andrew Coffin (World) is not much impressed either. "
Steven Isaac (Plugged In) says the movie "turns the corner from being a positive reminder about the value of a life well-lived into a short-sighted, spiritually dead rant about how the only thing in life that means anything is what's happening right now. Justifiably or not, New Jersey is infamous for its polluted beaches and toxic landfills.