The Wackness

Summer, 1994. The girls were fly. The music was dope. And Luke was just trying to deal.


New York, 1994; teenager Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is supplying a therapist (Ben Kingsley) with weed in exchange for fatherly advice, but Luke also falls in love with his daughter (Olivia Thirlby). The city becomes an important part of this amusing movie as the characters mourn the demise that Giuliani was orchestrating of the seedy, violent (but free-spirited) New York; it is also effectively scored with contemporary rap music. The script is a study of a lonely teenager having his first real relationship with a girl and is balanced with the comical escapades he shares with her eccentric father. A hint of depth in the story, but Kingsley’s funny performance is the best part.

2008-U.S. 99 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Keith Calder, Felipe Marino, Joe Neurauter. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine. Cast: Ben Kingsley (Jeffrey Squires), Josh Peck (Luke Shapiro), Famke Janssen (Kristin Squires), Olivia Thirlby, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jane Adams… Method Man.

Quote: “It used to be you could lick a sheet of acid, hold up a band, fuck a whore in Times Square without anyone batting an eyelash. Now, one blunt, we’re in the clink. This whole city’s fucked!” (Kingsley)

Last word: “I don’t know where the inspiration for that premise came from, I just thought it was kind of funny. But once we got that, I brought a lot of personal stuff into it, being in 1994, the music… I definitely was kind of a dark soul and that’s sort of where it sprung from and then we just continued to – I continued to work on the script with the producers and we got to a place we were happy with and we sent it to Ben Kingsley.” (Levine,


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