Wish I Was Here – movie review

Wish I Was Here is an excellent movie about a man in his mid-thirties facing a series of crises in his life. Zach Braff stars as Aiden Bloom, a struggling actor who has not had a job since appearing in a dandruff commercial.


The family is being supported by his wife Sarah, played by Kate Hudson. A number of people around Aiden, including his own father, take every opportunity to constantly remind him that in their opinion he is not taking care of his family properly.


Aiden’s father then develops terminal cancer, and Aiden’s own brother (played by Josh Gad) refuses to help or even interact with the father due to a falling out  years ago.

The title “Wish I Was Here” is never explained in the film. We believe that it refers to the disconnection people can feel with their own lives as problems mount. It can get to the point that you are spending so much time handling day-to-day issues that you are not actually living your life.

As the movie progresses, Aiden  slowly comes to the realization that instead of continually focusing on everything he does not have, he needs to embrace what he does have. He realizes that he has a beautiful wife, two wonderful children, and a father and brother that do in fact love him and each other in their own odd ways. Once he decides to actually participate in his life instead of just reacting it, things begin to change for him.

Some reviewers have complained that the film is too disjointed. However, that is the way real life is. Things don’t happen in an orderly progression.  We are reminded of the old joke, “that’s the trouble with life. There’s no plot.”

Every actor in the film gives a magnificent performance, especially the two who play the children. Pierce Gagnon plays the young son Tucker and Joey King plays the daughter Grace who is entering sixth grade. We last saw her work with Braff where she played the porcelain doll girl in The Great and Powerful Oz.

We give this movie 4 Stars.    ****

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