Writer: Zach Braff, Adam J Braff (Screenplay)
Starring: Zach Braff, Pierce Gagnon, Kate Hudson, Joey King, Alexander Chaplin, Josh Gad, Mandy Patinkin, Ashley Greene
Plot: A struggling actor, father and husband finds himself at a major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his family and his career.
Tagline – Life is an occasion. Rise to it.
Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Quirky But Flat Comedy
Story: Wish I Was Here starts when struggling actor Aidan Bloom (Braff) faces a crossroads in life, when his father Gabe (Patinkin) stops paying for his child Tucker (Gagnon) and Grace (King) to attend a private Jewish school because he is suffering from cancer. Aidan must decide to follow his dreams of being an actor or finding a way to educate his children.
Aidan decides to home school his kids and learns he must deal with their growing pains issues, while his father’s condition only gets worse, he must look to figure out what is best for his family and pass on only following his own dreams and see the bigger picture.
Thoughts on Wish I Was Here
Characters – Aidan Bloom has been trying to make a new for himself as an actor for his whole life, he has a family which has been able to get by with his dream, but now he will need to face the reality of life and will need to make a decision about life, whether to support his family or follow his dream. Sarah is the wife that has been working on the dead end job just to make sure her kids are supported, she needs to look at how much longer she can support her husband’s dreams. Tucker and Grace are the two children, Grace is reaching the age where she needs love and support because she doesn’t understand what is next in life, while Tucker is hyperactive.
Performances – Zack Braff is one of the most interesting comedians in acting, he does have a unique style which is can be hit or miss through his career, this one is what we would expect form his without being anything truly great. Kate Hudson, Josh Gad and Mandy Patinkin give good supporting performance that get the most laughs, while the two younger stars Pierce Gagnon and Joey King both show the potential they have.
Story – The story follows a struggling actor who must face the reality of life when his father learns he is going to die soon, he needs to sort out his priorities and support his family while his dreams are not as strong as they need to be. This is a life lesson story one that focuses on trying to teach people to balance dreams with reality to learn just what is the most important part of life. We do also get the ideas of needing to have family and learn how to forgive people for their errors of misguided love. The story does flow nicely even if it does end up focusing on the dream like world we are used to seeing Zach Braff do in Shrubs.
Comedy – The comedy is a mixed bad because we get to see moments that get laughs through the film, even if most of the comedy is what JD was going through in Scrubs, only more serious.
Settings – The film is set in LA which shows us why the dream is more of a reality for Aidan and how hectic life can be here.
Final Thoughts – This is a quirky comedy that does what it is meant to do, it has the basic done well and wants to show a lot more heart that you think it would, it just doesn’t end up giving us enough to standout from any other film that does the same basic ideas.
Overall: Simple comedy.