Zach Braff Shows Off Lots Of Style And Stars In Wish I Was Here Teaser
It's been ten years since Zach Braff won loads of fans with his directorial debut, the 2004 indie comedy Garden State. After all that waiting for his sophomore follow-up, Braff has at long last made a dramedy called Wish I Was Here, and you can now check out its first teaser.
I'll be honest: over the years I've soured on Braff. Blame it on Scrubs overstaying its welcome, forcing his goofy hero J.D. to become a tiresome doofus who refused to evolve out of his sitcom-friendly arrested development. Blame it on the rumors of Braff's bad behavior that made for gossip column fodder. Blame it on how he fundraised for Wish I Was Here. They all factored in. But my Braff-centric jadedness aside, I found the above teaser charming.
Sure, it's essentially a music montage that tells us nothing about the plot of Wish I Was Here. But it is dripping in the same kind of quirky style that made so many cling to Garden State. I felt my icy heart melt in spite of myself with the close-up of the tween girl in the bright purple wig, sauntering with confidence. Add on the inexplicable sci-fi elements, Mandy Patinkin in Steam Punk goggles, and Josh Gad as a DIY astronaut, and you've won my interest. But Braff isn't just showcasing style, he's also broadcasting Wish I Was Here's star power. Aside from Braff, Patinkin, and Gad, the cast boasts White House Down's Joey King, Jim Parsons, and Kate Hudson, Braff's Scrubs co-star Donald Faison.
But what's Wish I Was Here about? Penned by Braff and his brother Adam, Wish I Was Here stars the former as a 35-year-old family man named Aidan Bloom, who still has childhood daydreams about being a Space-Knight. Aidan unexpectedly becomes the sole teacher to his two children when his ailing father (Patinkin) can no longer afford private school for them. Rather than give them a traditional education, this dreamer decides to throw out the book and make up a curriculum of his own - through it discovering who he really is.
Wish I Was Here first made headlines a year ago, when Braff sidestepped traditional fundraising or studio involvement by pitching right to his fans through Kickstarter. This made him - along with Rob Thomas and Spike Lee - one of the focal points of the discussion on who sites like Kickstarter are really for. This prompted Braff to make a response video, which you can revisit below:
In the thick of the backlash, Braff began casting. He earned more headlines for securing Patinkin, Gad, and Hudson. By the end of his campaign, 46,520 of Braff's fans had kicked in to help finance Wish I Was Here to the tune of $3.1 million. Earlier this year, the film made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and was quickly acquired by Focus Features.
Wish I Was Here opens July 25th.
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