Wish I Was Here (2014)

Written, directed, and starring Zach Braff. Good on you, Mr. Braff.

Actor dad takes care of his kids while his wife works and his father is dying. This is not a big movie, a big story, or a big cast. Instead, it shows multi-layered men which is difficult to portray in a movie. They are imperfect and searching and loving while trying to be true to themselves. The message seemed to be: there’s no one right way to father and sometimes you’re going to screw it up. The main character summed it up,

“…being a father is really hard!”

Acknowledging the sentiment makes this an important film.

Fathers and dads have been belittled, ignored, and taken for granted in film and tv. In the real world, they are essential for family harmony.

A father:

  • models adult male behavior
  • helps his children feel worthy of love and respect as adults
  • supports his wife emotionally, physically, and financially
  • protects his family
  • spiritually guides his family

Discussion Points

What did your dad do right?

How did that affect your parenting?

What do you wish he did more?

What is the hardest thing about being a dad?

What is the best thing about being a dad?

What is your biggest parent screw-up?

What do you wish people understood about fatherhood?

bearded man wearing sunglasses, head bandana, and red jacket with his arm around young lady, both are crouching on top of a snowy, rocky outcropping
Image by vandorlass from Pixabay


If you are a dad and you are trying your best, it matters to your kids and your wife. If you think you could do better, you’re probably right. Wanting to be better makes you a better man.

It’s a hard job you’ve taken on. Besides your family, being a good dad is important to your community and to society. Pat yourself on the back and thank your pop for helping you become the man you are today. Everyone always says, “Hi, Mom!” Not many say, “Thank you, Dad.”

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