Wish I Was Here

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Wish I Was Here
Wish I Was Here.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Zach Braff
Produced by Stacey Sher
Michael Shamberg
Zach Braff
Adam Braff
Written by Zach Braff
Adam Braff
Starring Zach Braff
Josh Gad
Ashley Greene
Kate Hudson
Joey King
Mandy Patinkin
Music by Rob Simonsen
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Edited by Myron Kerstein
Distributed by Focus Features
Release dates
Running time
106 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million[2]
Box office $5,483,299[3]

Wish I Was Here is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Zach Braff and co-written with his brother Adam Braff.[4] The film stars Zach Braff, Josh Gad, Ashley Greene, Kate Hudson, Joey King and Mandy Patinkin. The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2014[5] and was given a limited release on July 18, 2014 by Focus Features.


Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff) is a 35-year-old father of two struggling to be an actor in L.A. while his wife, Sarah (Kate Hudson) works a tedious data job. In order to send their kids, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon) and Grace (Joey King) to a good school, they rely on help from Aidan's father, Gabe (Mandy Patinkin), who insisted they go to an Orthodox Jewish day school.

When Gabe reveals his cancer has come back, he tells Aidan that he's decided to put the rest of his money into a new stem cell treatment, meaning his grandkids can no longer afford to attend their school. After the school refuses to provide any aid to the Blooms because Aidan's career is his "choice" and other families have greater needs, Sarah suggests that Aidan homeschool his kids, and their adventure of self-discovery begins. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn't find.

His brother Noah (Josh Gad) is a selfish shut in who can only be bribed to babysit for his brother and refuses to see his dying father due to resentment of Gabe criticizing him throughout Noah's life. He meet's his neighbour Janine (Ashley Greene) who is a furry costume maker which gives him the idea to impress her by making a costume for Comic-Con.



On April 24, 2013, director Zach Braff launched a Kickstarter campaign for his comedy film Wish I Was Here, aiming to make $2 million to boost the project, based on a script he co-wrote with his brother Adam J. Braff.[4] Cinematographer Larry Sher was set as director of photography[12] and producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher were set to produce the project.[4] The campaign raised $2 million 3 days after the project was launched.[13] On 15 May Worldview Entertainment stepped in to gap finance the project, which at that point had raised over $2.6 million.[14] On May 24 the campaign ended, having raised $3,105,473 from 46,520 people.[15]

At the film's New York premiere, actress Joey King stated that she donated money to the film on Kickstarter before she was even attached as a cast member.[16]


At the time the Kickstarter was launched, Zach Braff and Jim Parsons had already been cast.[4] Braff played Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, husband and father trying to find his purpose.[17] On May 14, 2013, Mandy Patinkin joined the cast, playing Gabe Bloom, Aidan's father.[9] Josh Gad also joined the cast to play the role of Aidan's brother.[10] On May 15, Anna Kendrick signed on to play Janine, a young woman into Cosplay.[18] Kate Hudson joined on May 20 to play Sarah Bloom, Aidan's wife.[6] Joey King was set to play Grace Bloom, the 12-year-old daughter of Aidan and Sarah Bloom, on July 2, 2013.[7] Pierce Gagnon was added to the cast on 9 July, to play Tucker Bloom, son of Aidan and Sarah.[8] On 17 July, it was announced that Ashley Greene would replace Anna Kendrick as Janine.[11]

Following the death of actor James Avery in late 2013, a publicist speaking on his behalf stated that Wish I Was Here was his final work.[19]


Principal photography took 25 days, beginning on August 5, 2013 in Los Angeles and ending on September 6, 2013.[20][21]


The film's first trailer was released on April 9, 2014.[22]

The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, 10 years after the premiere of Braff's directorial debut Garden State.[23] Focus Features bought the distribution rights for $2.75 million.[24]

After its opening at Sundance, it was announced that the film would open on July 18, 2014, exclusively in New York and Los Angeles. The release ended up a bit wider, playing in 68 theaters during its opening weekend. The then expanded on July 25.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Wish I Was Here received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a rating of 46% based on 112 reviews, with the site's consensus reading: "There's no denying Wish I Was Here is heartfelt, but it covers narrative ground that's already been well trod -- particularly by director Zach Braff's previous features." On Metacritic the film has a score of 43 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[26][27]


The soundtrack for the film includes an original song by The Shins, an original song by Bon Iver, and an original title track by Coldplay, recorded by Cat Power.

  1. "So Now What" by The Shins
  2. "Broke Window" by Gary Jules
  3. "The Mute" by Radical Face
  4. "Cherry Wine" (Live) by Hozier
  5. "Holocene" by Bon Iver
  6. "The Shining" by Badly Drawn Boy
  7. "Mexico" by Jump Little Children
  8. "Wish I Was Here" by Cat Power and Coldplay
  9. "Wait It Out" by Allie Moss
  10. "The Obvious Child" by Paul Simon
  11. "Breathe In" by Japanese Wallpaper featuring Wafia
  12. "Heavenly Father" by Bon Iver
  13. "Raven's Song" by Aaron Embry
  14. "Mend" by The Weepies
  15. "No One to Let You Down" by The Head and the Heart


  1. ^ "WISH I WAS HERE (15)". Koch Film. British Board of Film Classification. July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here is becoming a PR nightmare". Flavorwire.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Wish I Was Here". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Zach Braff Explains Why He Turned to Kickstarter for New Indie Film". hollywoodreporter.com. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sundance 2014: World Cinema Dramatic Competition". Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Kate Hudson Joins Zach Braff’s Kickstarter Movie ‘Wish I Was Here’". deadline.com. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Joey King Joins ‘Wish I Was Here’". deadline.com. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "‘Looper’s Pierce Gagnon Joins ‘Wish I Was Here’". deadline.com. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Mandy Patinkin Joins Zach Braff’s Kickstarter Pic ‘Wish I Was Here’". deadline.com. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Josh Gad Joins Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’". variety.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Ashley Greene In For Anna Kendrick On Zach Braff’s Kickstarter Pic ‘Wish I Was Here’". deadline.com. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Zach Braff Launches Kickstarter Campaign For New Directorial Effort 'Wish I Was Here'". indiewire.com. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Kickstarter Hits $2 Million Goal In 3 Days". deadline.com. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Zach Braff Kickstarter Project Gets Gap Financing". variety.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Zach Braff Ends $3+M Kickstarter Campaign". deadline.com. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Lewis, Hilary (July 15, 2014). "'Wish I Was Here' N.Y. Premiere: Zach Braff, Cast on Kickstarter Benefits, Character Draws". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mandy Patinkin Joins Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’". variety.com. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Anna Kendrick Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' Kickstarter Movie". thewrap.com. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Uncle Phil: Fresh Prince Star James Avery Dies". Sky News. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Zach Braff kick-starts filming on the set of Wish I Was Here after raising $3.1 million online". dailymail.co.uk. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Zach Braff’s ‘I Wish I Was Here’ begins filming in Los Angeles". onlocationvacations.com. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  22. ^ Sciretta, Peter (9 April 2014). "Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Teaser Trailer". slashfilm.com. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "2014 Sundance Film Festival Adds Wish I Was Here by Zach Braff to Premieres". Sundance.org. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  24. ^ Stewart, Andrew (19 January 2014). "Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Bought by Focus Features". variety.com. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' Gets Focus Release Date". indiewire.com. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Wish I Was Here". Rottentomatoes.com. July 18, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Wish I Was Here Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]