ZACH Braff is unabashedly and proudly Jewish. One might not deduce that, though, from the caustic attitude toward organized Judaism expressed at the beginning of his new film, “Wish I Was Here.”
In his second foray as director, a decade after the indie success of “Garden State,” Braff plays a chronically unemployed, 30-something Los Angeles actor with a devoted wife (Kate Hudson) and two children in Jewish religious school.
Braff’s Aidan Bloom is avowedly secular — his father (Mandy Patinkin) chose and pays for the kids’ education as a way of inculcating their Jewish identity — and he delights in cracking cynical jokes about religion while driving his offspring to school. To underscore his disrespect, Bloom sneaks a hit on a joint after the children get out the car, only to be caught in the act by a rabbi.