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The Wackness (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 August 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 26,461 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 147 critic

It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop. Set against this backdrop, a lonely teenager named Luke Shapiro spends his last summer before university selling marijuana throughout New York City, trading it with his unorthodox psychotherapist for treatment, while having a crush on his stepdaughter.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grandpa Shapiro
Grandma Shapiro
Bodyguard #1
Homeless Man
Kid in Bar


Friendship, love, and coming of age in New York City, summer of 1994. Luke Shapiro has just graduated from high school, sells marijuana, and trades pot for therapy from a psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Squires. Luke is attracted to a classmate, Stephanie, who's out of his league and Squires' step-daughter. By July, he's hanging out with Stephanie, taking her on his rounds selling pot out of an ice-cream pushcart. Then things take a turn. In the background, Squires and his wife as well as Luke's parents are having their troubles. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bódulat  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$138,401 (USA) (4 July 2008)


$2,077,046 (USA) (17 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene in which Luke dances and the pavement lights up is a reference to Michael Jackson's video of his song "Billie Jean." See more »


The movie is set in 1994 but when Luke returns to find his family being evicted there is a current model BMW 7 series, E65/E66, turning the corner in the background. These have only been manufactured since 2002-2008. See more »


Stephanie: Know what your problem is, Shapiro? It's that you just have this really shitty way of looking at things, ya know? I don't have that problem. I just look at the dopeness. But you, it's like you just look at the wackness, ya know?
Luke Shapiro: I do?
Stephanie: All you have to do is look at me. And kiss me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the Sony Pictures Classics logo appears at the very beginning and at the very end of the film, the word "classics" is erased and replaced with a graffiti rendering of the same word. See more »


Features The Legend of Zelda (1986) See more »


All the Young Dudes
Written by David Bowie
Performed by Mott the Hoople
Courtesy of Columbia records
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Touching period coming-of-age flick
30 August 2008 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

A thirty-something's dream summer movie, a bittersweet romantic comedy ironically bleached by the day-glo hip hop soundtrack. It's better than a simple nostalgia montage though. The unlikely friendship of Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) and his psychiatrist (Kingsley) is the buddy movie subplot that might as well be the permissive 60s and its zonked-out, ideologically vacant progeny.

The two men muddle through, but it's the summer romance in summery New York that propels the film. Luke doesn't have any sort of direction until he's gifted the company of Olivia Thirlby's Stephanie, a streetwise but unthinking classmate - with mate being the operative word.

It's a pretty straightforward film. There's plenty of amiable humour and a number of small but well-drawn supporting characters. I felt it missed a trick though. The temperament of the film seems so well-judged, human but halcyon, that I was preparing myself for an enormous twist, a juddering revelation or emotional detonation. Instead Levine chokes and goes for a weak final 15 mins with too much talk and unable to stop the comic wagon on which he's carted the rest of the film along. 7/10

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Raise your hand if you couldn't make it through the whole movie mets811
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