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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Zach Braff’s Garden State Follow-Up Trailer is Here and Predictably Features The Shins

Meaningful slow motion frontal shots and infinite abysses — classic Braff.
By Meg Watson
April 10, 2014
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By Meg Watson
April 10, 2014
  shares

When Zach Braff announced he was making a follow-up to Garden State, there were mixed reactions. While the 2004 film was a landmark for quirky coming of age stories, the manic pixie dream girl and alternative tweens "finding themselves", time has not been kind to it. Yelling into the infinite abyss inevitably seems a bit more heavy-handed than meaningful these days, and yes, Natalie Portman, everyone has heard of The Shins now. Regardless, the (sort of) sequel is happening and its first inevitably twee trailer is here.

Wish I Was Here tells the tale of a struggling thirtysomething actor who homeschools his two children out of financial necessity. You won't squeeze more plot than that out of the trailer, but what we can conclude is that the film will feature meaningful slow motion frontal shots, people looking impossibly magical underwater, another infinite abyss and more music from The Shins. Braff has constantly pointed out that the film isn't a direct sequel to Garden State, but more a continuation in theme and tone — a fact made pretty evident from the cringeworthy first line: "You can pick whatever [wig] you want. Just as long as it's unique and amazing... like you."

The trailer comes just under a year after the controversial Kickstarter campaign that funded the film. Instead of teaming up with willing production companies, Braff opted to try his hand at crowdfunding. Though the project was wildly successful — garnering over $3 million — the filmmaker came under harsh scrutiny for taking advantage of his loyal fans. Despite the backlash, Braff claimed it was a necessary measure to retain creative control over his sophomore endeavour.

Time will tell if those millions were worth it. Reviews from Wish I Was Here's Sundance premiere were less than kind, but the film won't see a general release in the US until July 18. At the very least, Braff will enjoy a ticket sale from each ex-Garden State devotee. Myself included.

Published on April 10, 2014 by Meg Watson

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