|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Wish I Was Here|
|Genre:||Comedy, Drama, Tragicomedy|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 106 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
It has always been Aidan's (Zach Braff) dream to become a successful actor one day. So far his wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) has fully supported him and has earned the money for the small family, while Aidan has run from one casting to the next. But now that he's even auditioning for African-American characters, Aidan has to admit that his dream will never come true - just as his father (Mandy Patinkin) always predicted. When he falls seriously ill and therefore can no longer pay for the expensive Jewish private school of Aidan's children Grace (Joey King) and Tucker (Pierce Gagnon), Aidan makes a radical decision: he wants to teach his children himself. When the first attempts fail miserably, his father's health gets worse and worse and Aiden realizes that his wife is really unhappy in her job, he realizes that it's time to finally take responsibility - as husband, father and son&.hellip;
"Wish I Was Here" is the second directorial work by actor Zach Braff ("Scrubs") after his acclaimed debut "Garden State". With the help of a Kickstarter campaign, Braff managed to finance the project, which he wanted to implement completely without the influence of a large studio. The result is a charming tragicomedy that scores with many wonderful moments and a great cast. Braff manages very well to weave light humor and moving drama into a harmonious whole. As a viewer you can laugh heartily or smile joyfully at some points, but in other moments you are almost moved to tears again.
In terms of content the story doesn't necessarily offer easy food, especially in view of Aidan's father's illness. But Braff avoids it outstandingly to let his film degenerate into a sad dismay cinema or into an all too sentimental stirring piece. Whenever the whole thing runs the risk of becoming too kitschy, Braff pulls the emergency brake in time and changes the tone. Thus small tears or a lump in the throat can be easily repressed with a relieving laugh.
In this way the film deals with essential topics like family, marriage, growing up and death. Without ever becoming too superficial, Braff manages to present all this as light, life-affirming entertainment. And that can justifiably be described as a small feat. The former series star also does a good job as the main actor and delivers a really likeable performance. The same is true for his film wife Kate Hudson, who is pleasantly reserved here, and for his film children Joey King and Pierce Gagnon. And even in smaller supporting roles, familiar faces appear, such as Braff's buddy Donald Faison ("Scrubs") or Jim "Sheldon Cooper" Parsons, who has also appeared in "Garden State". However, Mandy Patinkin ("Homeland") leaves a special impression, who as a dying father provides some real goose bumps.
"Wish I Was Here" is a really enchanting movie, that finally proves that Zach Braff is a really talented filmmaker. As in "Garden State" he doesn't reinvent the wheel, doesn't offer a big cinematic revelation or a groundbreaking masterpiece. Rather, he gives his viewers almost one hundred minutes of pure feel-good cinema with sympathetic characters, nice jokes and a few heartfelt moments. He tells a touching and funny story, which releases the viewer into reality with a broad smile on his face and a small tear in his eye. And for that "Wish I Was Here" clearly deserves a "Absolutely worth seeing"!
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