Following the incredible success of Garden State many observers predicted Zach Braff would evolve into one of Hollywood’s most promising and proficient young filmmakers. Thanks to some acting misfires, however, that never happened. Now, a decade later, Braff is finally back with a kinda sorta but not really spiritual follow-up to Garden State that he was forced to Kickstart. Wish I Was Here got a teaser back in April, but today, it got a full trailer. Spoiler alert: it actually looks pretty good.
By pretty good, of course, I mean it looks like a good example of that weird Zach Braff humor that involves a lot of emotional detachment, a lot of quiet reflection and a lot of isolating camera shots. Like this…
At its core, Wish I Was Here follows a struggling actor, husband and father who is trying to find some sort of purpose and direction for his life. He’s got a wife, two children, a sick father, a dumbass brother and more than his share of dreams that never came to fruition. Assumedly, he’ll spend the runtime of the film wrestling with his own goals and the needs of his family before finally settling on a happy middle ground that makes the best of his situation. That’s the Zach Braff way, and until this film shows us otherwise, we’ve got to assume it’s going there.
Well, there and to at least one scenic location that allows the characters to stare off into the abyss and reflect on their lives.
Wish I Was Here was acquired by Focus Features. It will be released on July 18th, though exactly how wide of a theatrical release it might get is still unclear. Given the number of kickstarters who participated and the success of Garden State, you would assume it would at least hit a few hundred screens, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it tracks.