Zach Braff makes his second directorial debut ten years after the successful "Garden State" with ''Wish I was Here". "Wish I was Here" was created with the help of Braff's Kickstarter campaign and is about Aidan Bloom, a 35 year old man who is trying to balance his dream of becoming an actor with the realities of being a husband and father. The films also stars Donald Faison, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons, Ashley Greene, Joey King, Mandy Patinkin, and James Avery.
Other critics are a bit lukewarm about "Wish I was Here". In truth, it's not nearly as good or as unique as "Garden State" which was arguably one of the first films to tackle the "quarter life crisis" and what it means to be in your twenties in the 21st century. "Wish I was Here" doesn't add much of anything new really. The family structure and parent/sibling issues raised in the film has been done over and over in countless other films. Even the idea of a man at 35, with two kids and a wife, trying to still hold onto the youthful idealism (and some might say selfish pretension) of his twenties isn't a particularly novel idea. However, "Wish I was Here" still has a lot going for it.
One of the things that makes the film enjoyable to watch is that Braff displays some endearing humility and rawness in "Wish I was Here". The fill overall just seems more "grown-up" and the acting, especially from Kate Hudson as Aidan's wife, Mandy Patinkin as Aidan's dad, and Joey King (who looks great with a buzzcut!) as his daughter is fantastic. It's clear a lot of love went into the film from all involved and it is worth a trip to the theater, Hartford. It is playing here.