'Wish I Was Here,' Zach Braff's Kickstarter movie, arrives in theaters

Zach Braff , playing a selfish dreamer of a dad, has a chat with the kids he's short-shrifting.
Zach Braff , playing a selfish dreamer of a dad, has a chat with the kids he's short-shrifting.
Posted: July 18, 2014

"WISH I Was Here" is a Kickstarter comedy about a guy who needs a good swift kick-start in the rear.

Zach Braff raised $3.5 million from online donors to fund the movie, the story of Aidan Bloom (Braff) - a jobless, rather shiftless young father who pursues his dream of being an actor thanks to the subsidy of his hardworking wife (Kate Hudson), as his disapproving dad (Mandy Patinkin) looks on.

Braff's script describes a cutesy world in which one's own dreams, and the self-centered pursuit of them, are paramount. Responsibilities are presented as the soul-crushing impositions of those lacking artistic souls.

Mention is made of Aidan's expensive education. Given that his children look to be in middle school, and he's never had a real job, he's probably been unemployed for a dozen or so years.

Bills are going unpaid, his children are losing the privilege of private school that he enjoyed. Nonetheless, jobless, feckless Aidan takes umbrage when his wife, who pays the bills by working a job that causes her to endure mistreatment, suggests that he rethink his dream.

Josh Gad plays Aidan's emotionally challenged brother. Both siblings believe they have disappointed their tough-love father, who is now seriously ill. It's the kind of movie in which all of these monumental problems are mitigated with the timely arrival of ice cream.

And yet, despite the movie's gooey flaws, it very nearly rights itself in the end with a resolution to Aidan's career trouble that somehow finds a note of generosity and tact.

It's the sort of fortuitous turn of events, I suppose, that would seem reasonable to a writer-director who sent his dubious idea for a movie into the thin air of the Internet and got $3.5 million in return.


Blog: philly.com/KeepItReel

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