I loved Garden State so I was really excited to see Zach Braff’s second feature film. Wish I Was Here tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, a dad, a son, a husband, a dreamer. He has to come to peace with the fact that maybe acting isn’t his true calling after all, dealing with his kids growing up and his life changing around him. It’s the kind of feel-good movie you watch to feel happy; you’ll maybe shed a tear or two during the “emotional heart-warming parts”.
The title of the film echoed a lot with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here song. I don’t know if it was done on purpose or not. During the whole film I kept expecting them to play it but they never did. In the middle of the movie there was another reference to the song; Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff) was telling his brother (Josh Gad) that he should stop hiding and not be like a fish in a fish bowl: “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year”. Maybe that’s just me reading into it too much but I feel like Zach Braff definitely had Pink Floyd in mind or at least somewhere in his subconscious when he was making this film.
At times in the movie you will see Zach Braff running around in a space-robot costume, kind of reflecting the dream state his character is always in (JD from Scrubs anyone?). It was a nice touch, but at times it made me feel like I was watching a weird Spy Kids movie. The movie could have easily been made without the sci-fi elements but then the title and the feel of the whole story wouldn’t have made much sense so I guess it was okay.
The cast of the movie was pretty good with Zach Braff, playing the lead role, Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Joey King, Jim Parsons and Ashley Greene, but I can’t help but feel that it was at times awkward and almost seemed forced. I feel like they could have accomplished much more having such a great cast.
I liked Wish I Was Here a lot, but I don’t think it could ever be as good as Garden State. I mean Garden State had Natalie Portman in it.