The Wackness  [DVD]
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Set in the sweltering Summer of New York, 1994: a time when the city was pulsating with hip-hop, The Wackness follows Luke (Josh Peck, MEAN CREEK) a loner kid living out his last Summer before university - selling weed, finding an unlikely best friend and falling in love for the first time. Luke forms a surprising bond with dysfunctional therapist Dr. Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley, SEXY BEAST), trading drugs for counselling as the two embark on a life-changing journey together. Luke learns the hardest lesson of them all as he falls hard for the Doctor s attractive young stepdaughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby, JUNO).
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Top Customer Reviews
Luke (Josh Peck) has just finished high school, and is spending his last summer before uni dealing drugs in New York City. One of his main clients is messed-up psychiatrist Dr Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley), and the film follows Josh and Squires' friendship across the summer, with Josh falling for Squires' hip stepdaughter, Stephanie, whilst Squires and his wife grow further apart. Josh is fed-up with being a loner, and with his life in general, and Squires just wishes he had his youth back, becoming dependent upon a huge range of drugs and being generally more childish than Josh. Both of them learn a little something from each other.
Okay, so far so Hollywood, and maybe that's why The Wackness was unfairly overlooked in the cinemas. There's so much more to this than the old cross-generational life lessons story though. It's an incredibly touching movie, and there are some good laughs to be had as well. The acting is good all round, though Sir Ben does coast a little in this not-too-demanding role. The soundtrack is a particular highlight, taking in a great selection of mid-90s hip-hop sounds, and for anyone who's always wanted to see Ben Kingsley make out with Mary-Kate Olsen (and frankly, who hasn't?), now's your chance.
A superb movie to put on for those long summer evenings, even if 1994 was nothing particularly special for you!
The film has its cookie characters in drug users (Mary-Kate Olsen, Jane Adams) and is filled with truisms which adds boredom to a dialouge already burdened with too much seriousness. While the situation is comic, the dialouge fails to keep pace. The characters lacked a certain amount of believability. The film got rave reviews, perhaps due the original plot and underlying themes, but as a comedy it won't have you rolling on the floor. 3 1/2 stars
PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, sex, brief nudity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The chemistry was just right, felt every high and low. Nicely shot to boot.Published 3 months ago by TK
this film is worth watching for the soundtrack alone. especially if you are a fan of earlyish hip hop as I guess the director is. also a pretty good film in its own right.Published on 21 May 2013 by Mr K. R. Sheehan
I saw this in the cinema when it came out and bought the DVD recently. It was enjoyable - the lead is very good (what happened to him?) - but it's no classic.Published on 2 July 2012 by Kim
This film is different to what I've seen before but it's very interesting, great storyline and overall great film. Will defo watch again several timesPublished on 3 Feb. 2012 by jwest
I really, really wanted to like this film but, despite its killer soundtrack and a consistently brilliant performance from Ben Kingsley, I was left counting down the minutes to the... Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2009 by Simon Bourke