“Wish I Was Here” – Review by Clay Bloodworth

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‘Wish I Was Here’ a movie for regular people

There’s few actors that I can comfortably watch suffer. Not necessarily in the way you may be thinking, like being harmed, but more in a mid-life crisis type sense. Maybe in a drama that concerns a family member dying or a couple that’s having trouble raising their kids, something that’s familiar. To me, it always seems a bit too cliche and something I’ve seen time and time again. It’s boring.

But every now and then there’s a movie that may deal with issues I’ve seen before but since it stars one of those few people, I don’t mind as much. They elevate the film to a level that grabs my attention that it wouldn’t have had before. One of those key people is Zach Braff.

His name may not ring a bell right away but you may know him from his directorial debut “Garden State” (which he also wrote and starred in) that caused quite a stir at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and has now become a cult hit. It’s a delightful little movie that is certainly better than “Wish I Was Here”, his latest venture, but they share an undeniable aura of sweetness and authenticity. You can tell that he’s coming from a genuine place and drawing directly from his own experiences.

And that’s the main reason why I give his new movie, flaws and all, a pass. It follows a father struggling with chasing his dream and trying to keep his spirits up as bad news continues to pile on, teaching his kids about moving forward in life. It’s a movie for regular people. And though it doesn’t succeed in every theme it tries to get across (some including religion), and may try too hard to be funny, it still moved me and is undoubtedly more emotionally rich than most films out now. “Wish I Was Here” is now playing in select theaters and coming soon to DVD.

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