Wednesday, July 30, 2014


With the success of Veronica Mars kickstarter campaign, Zach Braff decided for his next film, "Wish I Was Here" that he would do the same publicly funded effort. The finished product is a movie filled with terrific actors, and a great story. In it, Braff plays a struggling actor who must face the eventual death of his father, while homeschooling his kids, and putting himself back in touch with what made him love his life to begin with.

Braff plays Aiden Bloom,  whose father played by Mandy Patinkin, confesses he cannot pay for the education of Braff's children any longer due to his cancer coming back. Braff must spend the rest of his time figuring out how to handle his children being home schooled, as well as a wife who is in a job she hates, a brother who is a hermit, all the while facing the eventual death of his father, who he has a hard relationship with, filled with criticism on Aidens lack of a "real job." It is Aidens journey on finding himself again that is the basis for the story.

I liked the film, but there were a few things that bugged me. Kate Hudson and Zach Braff dont really have enough chemistry. The story makes Mandy Patinkin seem like the bad guy, which in reality, he's pointing out the obvious.  BUT the pros in this film highly outweigh the con's. The performance by Patinkin is terrific. Josh Gad is hysterical, and the scenes he has with Braff are some of the films best. He has a particularly great moment with Braff's daughter played by Joey King, where he admits his worst fear. And its one of the best moments in the film. The writing was clever, and the cinematography was terrific. Braff is a good writer, and he knows how to pull the audience in. I was also happy to see a cameo by Jim Parsons. A small thankless role, but Parsons always brings his "A" game.
I think the best thing about the film though, is that Braff made something that is intimate. In the age of big wide crappy blockbusters like Transformers 4 and Die Hard 5, that is nice to see.


"Wish I Was Here" isn't perfect, but its very interesting and very heartfelt. "Wish I was Here" gets a B.

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