Wish I Was Here ***

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“Wish I Was Here” is a nice little slice of life. This is director Zach Braff’s second directorial effort following 2004’s “Garden State”. It is a funny, well acted film that really doesn’t cook up anything new for us.

Braff stars as Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor who hasn’t had much meaningful work in a while. His wife Sarah, played by Kate Hudson, supports the whole family and is reaching her breaking point when it comes to supporting her husbands dream. Aidan’s lack of work starts to catch up with the family as the bills are piling up, including the private school their kids attend. Aidan’s father had promised to pay for that but can no longer do it as he is suddenly in a battle with cancer.

The school will not provide Aidan’s family any aid due to his choice of employment resulting in the kids being home schooled by Aidan. This is where the journey of self discovery begins.

The results are sometimes funny and sometimse heartfelt. I really enjoyed the performance by Josh Gad who play’s Aidan’s brother Noah. Noah has genius capabilities but is resigned to spending his days playing video games and entering costume competitions at Comic Con. He has not spoken to his father in a long period of time. What starts as a typical man child performance becomes one of the dramatic high points of the film.

“Wish I Was Here” is a nice indie film to counter the major summer fair.

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