Indie Gems: The Wackness

Don't let the stupid title fool you..
The Wackness is a clever, engaging film filled with the best of old school, early 90's hip hop and surprisingly beautiful scenes.

Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is finished with high school and wants to spend his summer dealing drugs from his mock up freezey cart. His parents are having a rough time, Luke sees a psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) who listens to his probems in exchange for bud. Luke also harbors a crush on Squires' step-daughter, (don't forget the step) Stephanie. (Olivia Thirlby) At first she doesn't give him the time of day, by the end of the summer she's going on his rounds with him daily. Her parent's don't have an easy relationship either.

Director Jonathon Levine took a simple coming of age story and made it stand out. The actors, with the exception of a slightly miscast Mary-Kate Olsen blend well and really make it interesting. Kingsley is hilarious, and Thirlby commands attention in every scene. She's done a lot of small movies, and I hope to see her in more because her presence is something else. The filmmakers really capture the feel of what I imagine 1994 New York City actually felt like. They also leave room to poke fun at themselves with some of their ridiculous dialogue. While the ending wasn't the strongest it still didn't take away from the enjoyment of the rest of the film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You only see the wackness.." - Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby)


  1. i keep hearing about this movie being good but it never appealed to me. but your review sure is alluring (so i've added it to my netflix queue). thanks!


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