WISH I WAS HERE

Quirky But Touching

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 18, 2014

Starring: Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, Joey King, Pierce Gagnon, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, Donald Faison

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 120 minutes

Address Comments To:

Please send your thanks or concerns, and copy Movieguide®, to:
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Peter Schlessel, CEO, Focus Features (a Division of NBC Universal and Comcast)
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Content:

(PaPa, BB, FR, C, LLL, V, SS, N, A, M) Mixed pagan worldview, with some moral and positive religious elements in a Jewish setting such as keeping the family together is seen as important, man becomes a better father through the course of the movie, protagonist’s stern grandfather tells his sons he loves them in a very touching scene, finding God is extolled, protagonist comes from a Jewish background, there’s an emphasis on Judaism, the Torah being read, Jewish songs sung, and protagonist searches for God but struggles with Jewish ritual and then goes into Jewish synagogue to get advice from a rabbi, but comes away with a belief that seems a little more abstract than what the Bible or Orthodox Judaism says, plus a redemptive element of forgiveness and reconciliation; over 40 obscenities (mostly "f" words) and 6 profanities (the children make their father contribute to a “swear jar”), plus multiple crude or vulgar comments; light violence when man hits another man in the face; strong sexual content includes depicted clothed fornication involving protagonist’s younger brother, man is seen from the back watching pornography, and some crude comments; rear male nudity in one scene and shots of woman in underwear; light drinking; no smoking or drugs; and, some family dysfunction but resolved and brief talk of the need for a savior and for salvation, but no overt mention of Jesus.

Summary:

WISH I WAS HERE is the story about a man re-evaluating his life and his lack of belief in God once he hears his father has cancer. WISH I WAS HERE has a mixed worldview but does have positive elements of a man searching his Jewish roots, finding God, and becoming a better father, but the movie’s foul language and lewd content require extreme caution.

Review:

WISH I WAS HERE is the story about man revaluating his life once he hears his father has cancer. WISH I WAS HERE has a mixed pagan worldview but also has positive elements of a man questioning his Jewish routs, finding God and becoming a better father, though it has foul language and sexual elements requiring extreme caution.

Zach Braff plays Aidan Bloom, a middle-aged man who’s spent his life trying to be an actor. Bloom has a family, a beautiful wife (Kate Hudson), a daughter named Grace, and a little boy named Tucker. The two children go to a Jewish school sponsored by Bloom’s father, Gabe. When the father stops the payment, Bloom must ask him what’s the matter and finds out his father has cancer. Since Gabe will no longer be able to fund the schooling, Bloom makes the decision to homeschool his children.

Starting out, Bloom isn’t a very good teacher. In fact, his daughter is a brilliant middle school student who knows more then her father. Meanwhile, Tucker, the son, is disinterested with learning. Over time though, Bloom learns how to be a better teacher to his children and in turn a better father.

While this occurs, Bloom’s father tries to do an experimental drug to treat his cancer, but it hasn’t been working. Bloom goes to his brother, Noah, to tell him their father is dying, and they need to make amends. At first Noah says he won’t, but Bloom and his family convinces Noah of the importance of family.

WISH I WAS HERE has a mixed pagan worldview with some positive elements. The protagonist is searching for God and asking philosophical questions. He had previously rejected the rituals of Judaism, but in the end, he believes in God, but in a more abstract way. At one point, he even recognizes overtly his personal need for a savior and for salvation, though there is no mention of Jesus. WISH I WAS HERE also contains a redemptive message about forgiveness and the importance of family. Though all this is the case, there are multiple obscenities and some lewd and crude content.

WISH I WAS HERE is a quirky movie. The acting is good, leading to some heartfelt moments. Written by brothers Zach and Adam Braff, the movie is dialogue oriented but well written. Zach, who also directs the movie, stars with a strong cast of talented performers, including Kate Hudson, veteran Mandy Patinkin of TV’s HOMELAND, Josh Gad of FROZEN, Jim Parsons of THE BIG BANG THEORY, and Donald Faison from Zach’s old TV series, SCRUBS. WISH I WAS HERE is especially appealing to some of those who enjoy independent, quirky movies. However, extreme caution is warranted for the movie’s crude, lewd content and its need for a stronger biblical worldview.

Of course, as Jesus Christ clearly and firmly says to his disciples in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Later, in John 15:1-4, he adds, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” Moses and the other prophets in many passages of the Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus as the Messiah who will put God’s Law in our minds and write it on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). “God has made this Jesus, whom [the Jews and Romans in Jerusalem] crucified, both LORD and Christ,” says Peter in Acts 2:36. “And, everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved” – Joel 2:32.

In Brief:

WISH I WAS HERE is the story of a man re-evaluating his life once he hears his father has cancer. Zach Braff plays Aidan Bloom, a middle-aged man who’s spent his life trying to be an actor. Bloom has a family, with a beautiful wife and two children. The children go to a Jewish school sponsored by Bloom’s father, Gabe. When his father stops the payments, Bloom asks what’s happening and finds out his father has cancer. So, Bloom decides to homeschool his children. This leads to him reconsidering what he believes.

WISH I WAS HERE is quirky but touching, with good acting and heartfelt moments. It has a mixed pagan worldview with some positive elements. The protagonist searches for God and asks philosophical questions. He previously rejected Jewish rituals, but in the end, he believes in God, though in a somewhat abstract way. The movie also has positive messages about forgiveness and the importance of family and fatherhood. Though this is the case, there are multiple obscenities and some lewd content. So, extreme caution is advised for WISH I WAS HERE.