Focus has released the first teaser for the Kickstarter-funded Wish I Was Here, Zach Braff’s first directorial effort in a decade. Much like the teaser for his Garden State, it privileges indie-rock-scored imagery over plot details. It’s also very representative of the corny, earnest, not-altogether-terrible movie Braff has made. The former Scrubs star plays (wait for it) a struggling Hollywood actor dealing with a whole mess of familial problems, some more First World than others. As in Garden State, there’s lot of slow motion and symmetrical compositions and shots of cathartically screaming, most of it set to Pitchfork’s favorite songs of the mid-aughts. (Braff could stand to update his iPod this decade.) There are also heavily symbolic sci-fi dream sequences, which might explain why the actor-writer-director needed all that money he asked you for. On the plus side, Mandy Patinkin plays the hero’s disapproving father, and those with a high tolerance for quirk may be able to detect some of the real stuff Braff is attempting to grapple with here. Still, if you hated Garden State, this probably won’t be the one to turn you around.
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