Three in a row, let’s see if I can keep this up. Here is my take on a movie like ‘Garden State’ from a different perspective. Enjoy.
Ron is driving down the highway. It’s the middle of the night and no one else is on the road. There is a bridge coming up and Ron drives right off it. The car hits the water and sinks. As the car fills with water Ron gets a satisfied look in his eyes.
We cut back from the fantasy to Ron driving, he approaches the bridge but turns away at the last second, over compensated and slams into the guard rail.
Ron takes his car to be repaired. While he is waiting in the reception area he noticed a very attractive girl with big headphones on and short purple hair.
“Did you say something,” the girl asks. “Uh… what are you listening to?” “It’ll change your life.” The girl puts the headphones on Ron. The world goes slowmo and quite and all we hear is a Father John Misty song.
They make small talk. The girl (Melody) is here to say hi to her father who runs the garage. She doesn’t even have a car, she rides a dirt bike everywhere. Ron is mysterious when asked about what happened to his car. Melody is about to leave when her father walks in, but Ron stops her and asks if he can see her again. She replies “If the universe wants it to happen, you’ll see me again.” Ron is in love.
We watch the scene again from Melody’s perspective. Voice Over: “Do I know that guy from back in high school? Why the hell does he keep looking at me. Oh he is going to say something. Nope he stopped himself. This is getting creepy. Was he friends with my brother… I don’t know what’s going on. Oh that time he must have said something. Maybe I just didn’t hear him with this music playing. What the heck is this anyways. It’s a pretty good song. I’ll have to thank Ella for the Spotify playlist recommendation. I’m going to say something.”
“Did you say something?”
“Uh… what are you listening to?”
VO: “Oh shit, um, say something generic”
“It’ll change your life.”
VO: “Good save!”
The conversation continues.
VO: “Thank God my dad, a reason to leave. …. Oh shit he wants my number. Actually he wasn’t even that direct. At least I don’t have to give him a fake one. Man he might be really aggressive if I’m direct. You’ll never see this guy again, say anything.”
“If the universe wants it to happen, you’ll see me again.”
Ron is so excited. He can’t help himself and finds Melody’s Facebook account through her father’s. She is perfect. She is climbing mountains, hiking and surfing in her pictures. She is into movies from the 80s and likes hip bands. Ron wonders what adventures she is up to.
We cut to what Melody is in fact up to. She opens a bottle of wine goes to get a glass, thinks better of it, bring the bottle to the couch where she proceeds to binge watch Two and a Half Men while finishing the wine.
Ron knows from her profile that Melody volunteers at a nursing home. It’s right on the way to Ron’s work. Well a little out of the way. Ron starts to make sure he takes the long route to work in hopes that he will see her again. And eventually, he does.
He stops her as he is about to go inside. She doesn’t remember him until he talks in creepy detail about their meeting at the garage. She says she has to go do her volunteering and Ron asks if he can tag along. She asks if he has work that day and Ron says something lame about this being more important.
They actually have fun. Melody is only doing it because an internship she wants to do requires community service. It’s always depressing so she makes up cute games in her head like imagining what everyone was like when they were teenagers, just to she can get through the day. She and Ron play them. Ron is in love.
When they are leaving Ron pushes for a date. Melody isn’t really into the idea but figures she should try new things so she agrees.
The date is terrible. Ron picked a super fancy restaurant and bought her a dozen roses. She is underdressed and feels really uncomfortable. Ron thinks she so cute and quirky wearing her outfit. To break the awkwardness Melody keep saying incomprehensible fortune cookie like phrases. At one point she even stands up and moves her body in a weird way, saying “Sometimes I like to do a thing that no one has ever done before.” Ron is in love.
A few days later Melody is hanging out with her friend Ella. Melody gets through telling her all about her experiences with Ron. “Oh so you manic pixie dream girled this guy. You know that movie cliché where the sad guy meets a beautiful quirky girl who shows him the beauty of the world. You are kinda screwed. He is going to see everything you do from now on as just cute. You can’t let him down gently, all you can do is be brutally honest with him.”
Melody: “But he is so scary, he gives off a ‘school shooter’ vibe”
Melody: “Look I’m not saying he is actually going to shoot up a school, I’m just saying if I saw his mugshot on the news, I be like… yup.”
Melody gets a text and shows it to Ella.
“See what the heck does this mean. Weird poetry shit. How the hell am I supposed to respond.”
Ella: “Oh, that’s just Father John Misty lyrics. Kinda cool”
Melody looks at her blankly.
Ella: “Jesus, do you ever listen to my playlists? Why do I even bother.”
Melody doesn’t take the advice and only responds cryptically to Ron’s messages. She continues to live her life and starts to date someone. Ron is shattered. He starts missing work and not taking care of himself. He snaps out of his funk after he watches ‘Say Anything.’ Now he has a plan.
Ron convinces Melody to come to his apartment. He kept going on and on about how she owned him at least this much. Ron has a big plan to get her back. He sits her on his couch and reveals Father John Misty whom he has hired for a private concert.
The concert goes on for a few minutes, Ron keeps looking over to Melody lovingly. Melody snaps.
“This is the most emotionally manipulative thing anyone has ever done to me. We went on one date! What did you think was going to happen? Healthy relationships don’t require huge acts like this because both parties already want to be together.”
Ron: “Oh like you with that jock asshole.”
Melody: Jock?! I don’t know what bullshit high school caste system you are still living in, but in the real world you don’t get bonus points for being out of shape. You don’t know anything about him. Did you know he likes to paint along with Bob Ross and he knits? None of that is as important as the fact that he is likable and he actually likes himself and his life. It is enjoyable to be around him. You are just sad all the time. Stop looking for someone else to fix you. I can’t fix you.”
She walks out the door.
Ron sits on the couch and a single tear rolls down his cheek.
In the after credits scene we see Father John Misty quietly gather his stuff and walk past Ron who hasn’t moved from the couch. He looks like he is going to say something, thinks better if it and walks out the door.
Post credit is the best!
Love it, in my mind Ron, Melody, Melody’s dad, Ella, the jock and Father John Misty are all played by Zach Braff. Keep it up!