When does the transition from “me” to “we” occur? When do our hopes and ambitions get thrown to the wayside in the name of our parents, spouse, and kids? We all know it’s coming. We all “hear the footsteps”. Some of us have already had to accept the mantle of adulthood. Some have not. When will you? It is here that we find Wish I Was Here.
As close to a “sequel” as Garden State will ever receive. Just as Garden State was the story of a young man’s quarter-life crisis, Wish I Was Here is a two hour overview of a far more concrete occurrence that will eventually find us all. With a cast to die for, a solid soundtrack, and tight story, Wish I Was Here is a damn good movie. Problems? A few of the scenes feel extraneous. The dialog and acting feel awkward at times. But it does not permanently damage the movie. You will feel ALL THE FEELS. You will cry. I sure as hell did.
It won’t win any awards, but it deserves your attention. See it during your late-20’s/early 30’s. Trust me.
The Deep Dive (Spoilers)
After pissing off half of the internet by using Kickstarter funding to pay for this project, Sacred Heart Hospital’s own J.D. (Zach Braff) has released his “follow up” to the indie hit Garden State. I use quotation marks around follow up because the characters are completely different but the film deals with the same subject matter: The transition from one phase of life to another.
Zach plays a mid-30’s father of two, a struggling actor married to former Steelwater groupie Kate Hudson. He has not taken the reins of his life. He is out of work, his father pays his children’s tuition, he smokes weed after dropping his kids off from school, and his wife is keeping the family a float all on her own (a fact that she resents). It is this return of his father’s cancer that really changes things.
It has been said that people don’t really grow up until both of their parents have passed. Here, we get to witness the transformation of Zach from a charity case to the patriarch of the family. He becomes far more involved into the lives of his children. He reconnects with his wife, who has been worn down by the need to soldier on for the good of the family. He reconnects and finally bonds with his father and estranged brother. He gets a steady job.
The movies acting works, and gets much better near the end. The writing is alright, with certain scenes shining through and others drawing attention to themselves. To be honest, I really liked Kate Hudson’s work in this film and thought she stood out. The father, played by Mandy Patinkin, also did a damn good job.
We are seeing a lot of movies coming out about millennials transitioning into their adult lives. Sure the transition story has been done repeatedly in movies, but it’s ok that we are seeing an increased output now. Every generation makes the transition, but they must also deal with the specific hurdles that accompany their given era (and it is important that movies acknowledge this). The “Greatest Generation”: the Depression and World War II. The Baby Boomers: the 60’s, Civil Rights movement, & Vietnam War. Millennials? Well, that chapter is still being written.
Wish I Was Here is window into a fast approaching, or already present, reality for a number of people in their late 20’s/early 30’s. Similar to the truth, it might be painful to watch at times. But man is it necessary.