WISH I WAS HERE – Rated R

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WISH I WAS HERE – Rated R

Scrubs Alum Zach Braff takes the reigns as director, co-writer and lead actor in his latest creative endeavor, WISH I WAS HERE. As we meet Aiden Bloom (Zach Braff) he is in the midst of a pre-mid-life crisis, trying to make his way as a fledgling actor, while trying to support his two children Grace (Joey King) and Tucker (Pierce Gagnon), but it seems that that responsibility is falling upon his loving wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) instead. Sarah supports the family, and Aiden’s acting career, but money is scarce, so they rely on Aiden’s father Gabe (Mandy Patinkin), to pay for the children’s tuition to the elite Jewish School they both attend. When Aiden and Sarah are notified that they are behind on their tuition by a significant amount, Aiden reaches out to his father to find out what the problem is.  “The problem”, it turns out is the “BIG C” which has returned in force for Gabe, so he can no longer afford to pay for his grandchildren’s schooling, as he is spending what money he has left on an alternative cure.  With his health in crisis, Gabe asks Aiden to take care of his beloved dog – which Aiden hates because he pisses on everything – until Gabe returns home from treatment.  Aiden has a better idea for “the dog”, as he attempts to take it to his brother Noah (Josh Gad), the hermit/genius who lives alone, and who Aiden figures could use a little company for a change. Aiden and Sarah decide to home school the children, as there is only a semester left– which becomes a disaster of epic proportions.  So, while Sarah is trying to deal with what is – or isn’t – working at home, she is also being sexually harassed at her place of employment by her cubicle partner Terry (Mark Thudium), who says things so inappropriate, he could make a porn star blush! As Aiden tries to deal with the fact that his dad is dying and has promised to get Noah to come see him before it’s too late, he also tries to deal with the fact that his children want desperately to go back to “their school”, which he still can’t afford, all while trying to stay focused with his acting and land a new role to at least be a semi-responsible adult/parent……

Will Gabe be able to beat his Cancer one more time?  Will Aiden be able to land an acting gig to make some money for his family for a change?  Will Noah come to terms with his own issues and find a way back to his father before it’s too late?  And what will Aiden do when Sarah shares how she is being harassed at work?

I give WISH I WAS HERE an A: This film is one of those truly “lifelike” movies that portray what’s real in life, which draws each of us in hook-line-and sinker.  It has been a long time since I have seen such a funny one-minute, heart wrenching the next film, like this one.  Braff and his brother Adam must have drawn from their own lives when penning this screenplay, because the entire film feels totally genuine in its characters and their messed up lives – from the not being able to make it as an actor, right down to the rabbi’s stalking Aiden as his tries to avoid them at his children’s school, I get the feeling that all that Jewish heritage in the Braff family is being shared in pits and pieces on the BIG SCREEN.  I also wanted to share that this film is rated R because of language – it does contain a SWEAR JAR that is brimming from Braff’s mouth – but I decided to allow my 14 year old daughter to view it with me, and I am glad I did.  This film brings together a blend of real life scenarios that captivated and touched not only me, but my daughter too.  Let’s just say that we both sat their tearing up at the “realness” that was happening before us on screen.  This is one movie that I would advise you to take anyone over 14 to see, as it will truly touch you and your family in ways that haven’t been seen in a film in quite some time.

Kathy Kaiser