Title: Wish I Was Here
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, Josh Gad
Runtime: 2 hrs
What It Is: Aidan (Braff) and his wife Sarah (Hudson) are struggling with a one income household since Aidan’s acting g have dried up. On top of that Aidan’s father Gabe (Mandy Patinkin) is suffering from a terminal illness one that’s forced him to stop paying for his grandchildrens Judiasm based school. This poses an issue as Aidan does not want to send them to public school, and you know his dad’s dying. Now he’s juggling tryng to home school the kids, audition and help with his dad because his brother Noah (Josh Gad) is incapable of helping.
What We Think: As a follow up to Garden State which I can quote verbatim this is rather weak, and familiar. I mean let’s dissect this thing. In Garden State Braff played an actor living in Los Angeles that comes home after the death of his mother and must deal with his impossible to please, intellectual father. In Wish I Was Here Braff pays an actor whose mother is already dead living in Los Angeles who must deal with his impossible to please intellectual father. Sound similar? Now take out a quirky and adorable performance from Natalie Portman and substitute an okay but somewhat flat Kate Hudson. Patinkin does his best but Braff’s script is a disorganized mess.
Our Grade: C-, Not completely unredeemable, but it’s nowhere near as good as Braff’s debut. One thing he continues to get right though is the soundtrack which is once again phenomenal! Braff’s acting was meh he seemed to be floating through it, unlike ironically Garden State in which he was suppose to be floating through a lithium fueled return home. There’s not any unfamiliar turf, and the way it’s told is old hat. Josh Gad is once again super funny and reminded me a ton of my own brother. Like way too much. And I think that’s the best part of this thing is that the characters could be you or I and our family. However, it’s blase stroytelling with a pretentious “bindie” (big indie) feel really make this a mix that doesn’t taste as good as you’d hope it would.