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Wish I Was Here

Drama . Comedy

Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, is 35 years old and still trying to find a purpose for his life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he'd always dreamed he'd be as a little kid. When his ailing father can no longer afford to pay for private school for his two kids and the only available public school is on its last legs, Aidan reluctantly agrees to attempt to home-school them. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn't find.

Actors: Zach Braff , Kate Hudson , Joey King , Pierce Gagnon , Donald Faison , Mandy Patinkin , Ashley Greene , Jim Parsons , James Avery , Alexander Chaplin
Directors: Zach Braff
Country: USA
Release: 2014-07-25
More Info:
  • Drew McWeeny

    Everything is written to theme. Everything moves the film forward. When it comes down to the last half-hour, Braff manages a long sustained emotional crescendo packed with both laughs and tears, and it is accomplished work, carefully balanced, beautifully constructed.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Braff plays Aidan with easygoing exasperation and Hudson is better than I’ve seen her since “Almost Famous.” As a director, Braff touches on lots of Big Themes: mortality, marriage, fatherhood, the disillusion of dreams. Nothing quite comes to full boil, though.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Sheila O'Malley

    Yes. It is good. It is sincere, funny, thoughtful and spiritual, often poignant, and with a deep strain of existential worry running underneath the whole thing. Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Mainstream audiences will note that Hudson has never been better and that the tearjerking taps into something universal. For audiences seeking shelter from superhero carnage, Wish I Was Here is a lovely place to be.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    There are enough sharp one-liners and funny situations to keep things entertaining even as Braff delves (lightly) into genuine dilemmas confronting many a married couple.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Boyd van Hoeij

    A more mature work from actor-director-producer Zach Braff that feels like a Garden State for grown-ups.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Wish I Was Here touches on some timely themes and does so with an artistic vulnerability.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    If you liked “Scrubs,” and I did, for a few seasons, anyway, you’ll be happy Braff got to make his movie and happy that you got to see it.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    Since the adorable, simple Garden State, Braff’s ambitions as a filmmaker have grown. He’s reaching for answers to really big questions, but they are, just slightly, beyond his grasp.

    Empire Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Wish I Was Here is at least stretching toward something, and even if its reach exceeds its grasp, Braff's earnest determination as a filmmaker and performer helps smooth out some of the awkward bumps.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • William Goss

    Sprawling between plot lines and shifting between tones for longer than it ought to, but laden with enough pockets of truth to make you wish it had been better, more restrained, more disciplined, more trusting in its own emotional sensitivity to spare us all manner of dorky detours. Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It's a noble attempt at meaningful comedy-drama, but Braff struggles with shifting tones while mismanaging his own character. It's easier to appreciate the effort than it is to enjoy the film.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    Here has a great soundtrack and some fine performances, particularly from King, who is a wonder. And credit Braff with some great imagery, deep thinking and moments of eloquent dialogue, however schmaltzy.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    If you liked “Garden State” — or if you hated it, for that matter — you pretty much know what you’re in for with Wish I Was Here. Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    For better or for worse — okay, mostly for worse — he’s made the exact film he wanted to make; it just took him some time, and a lot of charity, to get the earnest thing off the ground.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Jason Clark

    Braff, who co-wrote the film with his own brother, is clearly attached to the semiautobiographical material here and still has a knack for sweet two-person scenes.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    The death- and religion-obsessed Wish I Was Here is such a manifestly personal project that it's a shame it isn't even more idiosyncratic.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Braff hasn't made another generational statement, but rather a regurgitation of tropes that got old a long time ago.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Cory Everett

    Wish I Was Here is not a total disaster, but the tricky tone seems like it needed more time in the editing room to focus its story and trim some of the extraneous threads.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Patinkin and King’s characters’ wrangling with spirituality is sincere, and specific. Everything else in this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink film feels like too many ideas stored up over an especially long winter.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Wish I Was Here, not unlike its predecessor "Garden State," captures a certain generational drift. It just doesn’t know what to do with it. So it beats the damned thing into the ground until it’s dead.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    One problem with “Wish” is that Braff tries to cram so much into it, no scene ever exists for its own sake, to establish rhythm or help us know these characters outside of the ongoing family crises.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Some will find the director’s toothless brand of epiphany comforting (and download his mixtape), but the vast majority will find it tired.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Amber Wilkinson

    It feels as though it would have been better served as a six-part sitcom, where its sentimentality, broad comedy and fantasy elements wouldn't rub up against each other so badly.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Even the most ardent fans of Braff’s first feature film, the charming Garden State, will struggle to warm up to this self-indulgent, uninvolving drama about an immature, almost-middle-aged guy trying to find himself with questions he should have had answers to long ago.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Director/co-writer/actor Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here is a precious and condescending exercise in self-indulgent pandering, featuring one of the whiniest lead characters in recent memory.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    For a film that purports to be about the process of maturity and growth, it is woefully un-evolved, lacking in understanding and insight.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Wish I Was Here is so eager to please that you are never allowed to feel uncomfortable for more than a minute or two before a reassuringly stale joke rushes in to pat you on the head.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    When the film doesn’t strain for twinkly enlightenment, it stoops to find the easiest possible joke.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    The result is unquestionably an auteur film, but one festooned with so many bad and unnecessary ideas that one can’t help wondering if a more modest, hemmed-in version of the same project might not have proved more effective.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    As an actor, Braff does thin-skinned sad-sack quite well. As a writer, he’s hopelessly banal. As a director, he’s a disaster.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Pretentious (it thinks it’s a comedy but descends into depression faster than you can fill a Prozac prescription) and self-indulgent (whole scenes are thrown in for no reason except to stretch a five-minute sitcom pitch into nearly two hours of phony, contrived tedium), it’s a mess begging for coherence.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    It's hard to see the fiscal woes at the center of Zach Braff's second feature as anything more than a fashionable depiction of first-world problems.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    A sweet and sloppy jumble of fantasy, sentimentality, comedy and soul-searching that feels like a sitcom that never got past the pilot stage.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
Add Soundtrack

  • jew

  • independent film

  • homeschooling

  • family

  • struggling actor

  • dream sequence

  • actor

  • box office flop

  • money problems

  • reconciliation

  • grief

  • strong female lead

  • strong female character

  • religion

  • genius recluse

  • brother brother relationship

  • father son relationship

  • father dying

  • sexual harassment

  • dream job

  • growing up

  • caught masturbating

  • masturbation

  • nipples visible through clothing