Last Friday I went to see “Wish I Was Here” with a friend.
Ten years ago there was so much buzz surrounding “Garden State” but when I finally saw it in early 2005 I was underwhelmed with the movie. I liked the similar “The Last Kiss” in 2006. Over the years I have gone back and forth on Zach Braff and when the whole kickstarter thing happened I was turned off. I felt like an actor that has so much money from a TV show like “Scrubs” should not be using kickstarter the fund a film. But then I saw the preview for the movie and I actually wanted to see it, mainly because Kate Hudson was actually doing a dramatic role and choosing to act instead of doing yet another romantic comedy.
I enjoyed the movie. I thought that it was a good portrait of life in your mid to late thirties; a time in which you’re not young anymore but you’re not old yet, a time in which your dream haven’t come true yet and you have to face the prospect that they might never come true. A time in which your parents are at an age and stage in which you might lose them.
Zach Braff is quite good in the lead role. The does a great job of playing the character who is both a loving father and a bit of a selfish dreamer, somebody who wants to finish his process of growing up and wants to hold onto the dream of a young man, it as an effective performance of a character that he obviously can relate to.
Like her mother I feel like Kate Hudson has sold herself short. Goldie Hawn is actually a good dramatic actress who chose to mostly do fluff films. Kate has chosen in similar path but she is very good here. For the most part it is just a mom role but late in the film she gets a great scene. It is a scene that is not unlike Patricia Arquette’s big scene in “Boyhood”. It is a scene that screams Best Supporting Actress Oscar clip.
Pierce Gagnon and Zoey King are good as Braff and Hudson’s kids. I was really intrigued with Zoey King’s screen presence. I think she could have a bright future ahead of her.
Mandy Patinkin is excellent as Zach Braff’s father. The relationship he has with Braff’s character and his brother (Josh Gad) isn’t a terribly original one but it’s still moving.
Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It’s simple but effective. The only problem I had was a fantasy element that required some CGI. For me that element of the story took me completely out of the film and also seemed like a waste of money. If feels like Zach Braff needed his kickstarter campaign to raise money for unnecessary CGI. I get enough CGI in late blockbusters; I don’t need it in a slice of life drama.
Despite that one issue I do recommend “Wish I was Here”.
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