I wish I was still sitting in The Tate Center theatre, watching (and crying) at the first time I saw Garden State. I wish I still had those goosebumps over just how good the soundtrack was, and how much everyone on campus revealed in talking about it – for months.
Unfortunately (only in some ways), I’m way past the Tate Center days (insert sigh), but – ALAS! – I find myself having deja vu, thanks to Braff’s newest good-guy-story version, Wish I Was Here.
It goes without saying (even though I just did) or seeing it really, that this is the next chapter of Garden State. It’s just what Writer/Director/Actor Zach Braff does – he tells sweet, life-lesson stories to the tunes of cool, indie music with Hollywood’s most eclectic mix of stars.
Wish I Was Here is no different, and its storyline is no surprise if you saw GS. But, I’ll be the first to admit, Braff has this formula figured out. Yep – I still loved it. Regurgitation, or not. His careful blend of candid familial relations (he wrote this one with his own brother), crass adult conversation and subtle, but deliberate, humor makes for a film that tells a great story, in an entertaining way. I loved it.
I loved it as much as I loved Garden State, so whether they’re the same kind of movie or not, its worth seeing if you were a fan. The story feels real and the cast does an impeccable job of bringing Braff’s Kickstarter vision to life. With the addition of Kate Hudson’s raw dialogue with father-character Mandy Patinkin (arguably the best scene of the film) and Josh Gad’s funny-weird uncle role, this film embodies a little of everything – Hollywood rom-com, family drama and dark comedy. Those are three things you rarely see mashed, and this mix tape is one worth sharing.
Have any of you seen it, yet?