Zach Braff Kills the Subjunctive Mood, Doesn’t Care

By: Kimberly Ripley - July 20, 2014

Zach Braff isn’t known for his good grammar, and he’s getting lots of heat from academic types who have accused him of killing the subjunctive mood in the title of his new film Wish I Was Here. They think Braff has committed a huge grammatical faux pas and can’t see the film for lack of getting past its title.

Zach defended his choice in an interview with Vulture.

“The whole film is about a dad who’s not an academic trying to teach his kids, and his kids know more than he does,” Zach Braff said. “His daughter is constantly correcting him when he says who instead of whom; and so the title, although it has another meaning, we grammatically did it incorrect on purpose, because it’s about a father who is actually learning from his children who are brighter than he is.”

Wish I Was Here stars Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Ashley Greene, and Josh Gad in addition to Zach Braff. Zach and brother Adam Braff co-wrote the screenplay.

Yahoo points out that as he defends his title to Vulture, he even uses the word ‘incorrect’ incorrectly. It should actually have been ‘incorrectly’ in the context he used.

This isn’t the first time Zach Braff has had to defend the title of his film. He said the following during an interview with Empire.com.

Wish I Was Here sounds cooler than Wish I Were Here. Then the movie’s about a father who’s trying to teach his kids at home despite not being much of an academic himself. So it works in two ways, really, but yeah, I take your point,” he said when called out by his interviewer.

All of these grammatically incorrect statements made the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri’s skin crawl.

“Listen, buddy,” she wrote–addressing Zach Braff. “You like yourself some wistful counterfactuals, do you? Well, let’s get one thing straight. There are two ways to express a counterfactual wish. One way is with the subjunctive. The other way is wrong.”

People have even taken to Twitter to bash Zach Braff.

Okay, so Zach Braff likely gets it. Still he doesn’t seem to care. What he does care about is whether or not people are going to see Wish I Was Here.

So far it sounds like it’s battling–based on box office sales–to get a full nationwide run in theaters.

Is Zach Braff’s film Wish I Was Here on your go-see list?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Kimberly RipleyKimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.

View all posts by Kimberly Ripley
  • The Lone Fedora

    The writer gets the title of the movie WRONG three times in this article. It’s “Wish I Was HERE”, not THERE. If you’re going to write an article about a movie whose title is a grammatical error, then you really should get the title right.

  • pjack

    Why can’t a movie title and dialog in a movie be real life. Meaning… in real life people aren’t grammatically correct all the time… and no one cares! So… who cares? Either it’s a good movie or not… get a life.