It’s a Jersey Thing

Judging from the movies, New Jersey is just New York City’s backyard, where the alluring skyline of the Big Apple is visible from every window. That longing to leave the Garden State pervades “Not Fade Away,” opening Friday, as well as these films.

Garden State (2004)
Zach Braff stars as a mildly successful actor who returns home after his mother’s death. Then he meets Natalie Portman, and she makes everything better. Except his mom is still dead.

Clerks (1994)
Writer/director Kevin Smith’s indie fave examines the lives of a Jersey convenience-store clerk and video-rental clerk, two clerks who should not have signed up for “Clerks II.”

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
What’s better than hamburgers? A whole BAG of hamburgers. Especially after smoking pot. Because hamburgers, and then a milkshake and MORE HAMBURGERS.

Happiness (1998)
Todd Solondz wins the Most Ironic Title Ever Award for this film, about the most miserable people in the entire world. One character declares she lives in New Jersey because she lives “in a state of irony.”

The Wedding Singer (1998)
In this adorable film, N.J. stands for family, big hair and awesome weddings, while NYC stands for citified jerks. Where would you rather live? We thought so. You keep spraying that Aqua Net.

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Rudi Greenberg · January 2, 2013