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.
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
From Luke's opening monologue set to the strains of old school hip-hop through to a beautifully crafted story that is both poignant and funny and Ben Kingsley's wonderful turn as psychiatrist Dr. Squires this film is a winner. Set in New York in 1994 the story follows Luke Shapiro as he graduates school and becomes a dope dealer full time. It's a coming of age drama of sorts but equally as he is struggling to come to terms with embarking on life after school, parents, peer pressure and girls his psychiatrist Dr. Squires, who he deals to in exchange for counselling, is also coming to terms with growing old, a failing marriage and drug dependency. The two form an unlikely bond, Luke is in love with Dr. Squires step daughter and Dr .Squires wants to recapture his lost youth which opens the way for some charming and damn funny moments. Kingsley plays the good doctor like a cross between 'The Big Lebowski's' the dude and a drug addled Terry Nutkins, it's a great role and another that shows just how versatile he is as an actor. Luke is played by local boy Josh Peck and as well as being a perfect foil for Kingsley he is also great in his own right, very reminiscent of the lead from Thumbsucker all floppy haired and wide eyed. The music mostly nineties hip-hop, like A Tribe Called Quest and Notorious B.i.g to name but a few is balanced with classic rock as the two now friends swap mix tapes. Well paced and effortless in its execution this should be as big as say 'Juno' but due to its content and drug references it probably won't be, but don't let that put you off seeing this great little film.
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