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The Wackness
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The Wackness (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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The Wackness -- New York, summer 1994, the greatest year in hip-hop, a troubled teenage drug dealer trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug-addled psychiatrist intent on living his life to the fullest. The two form an unlikely friendship, but things get complicated when the kid falls for the doctor's daughter.
The Wackness -- This is the final theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.
The Wackness -- Clip: How old are you?
The Wackness -- This is the third theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.
The Wackness -- This is the second theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.


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Popularity: ?
Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Jonathan Levine (written by)
View company contact information for The Wackness on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 2008 (USA) See more »
Sometimes it's right to do the wrong things. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Drug Dealer is "God's Lonely Boy" See more (74 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ben Kingsley ... Dr. Squires

Josh Peck ... Luke Shapiro

Famke Janssen ... Mrs. Squires

Olivia Thirlby ... Stephanie

Mary-Kate Olsen ... Union

Jane Adams ... Eleanor

Method Man ... Percy

Aaron Yoo ... Justin

Talia Balsam ... Mrs. Shapiro

David Wohl ... Mr. Shapiro

Bob Dishy ... Grandpa Shapiro

Joanna Merlin ... Grandma Shapiro

Shannon Briggs ... Bodyguard #1

Roy Milton Davis ... Homeless Man

Alexander Flores ... Kid in Bar
Ross Levine ... Blunt Boy
Ken Marks ... Oliver
Kiah Fredricks ... Police Officer #1
Robert Armstrong ... Principal Edwards
Flint Beverage ... Bartender
Rudy Costa ... Corrections Officer
Nicholas Schutt ... Albert (as Nick Schutt)
Sam Dishy ... Subway Musician
Nicole Berger ... Choreographer

Dawn Noel ... Fly Girl 1 (as Dawn Pignuola)
Tyler Gilstrap ... Fly Girl 2
Erin Elliott ... Fly Girl 3

Natalie R Ridley ... Fly Girl 4 (as Nathalie Ridley)

Ioana Alfonso ... Fly Girl 5
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Basile ... Prisioner

Douglas J. Aguirre ... Desk Officer in the Prison (uncredited)
Charlene Biton ... College Student (uncredited)

Kevin Cannon ... Homeless Dealer (uncredited)

Jack Caruso ... Arresting Police Officer (uncredited)

Peter Conboy ... Man on Park Bench (uncredited)
Sean Dillon ... Gruden (uncredited)

John Farrer ... Faculty Member at Graduation (uncredited)

Melissa Grimmond ... Girl #4 (uncredited)
Eugene Kim ... Subway Guy (uncredited)
Rylie J. Neale ... Luke's Classmate (uncredited)

Bill Walters ... Barfly (uncredited)

Directed by
Jonathan Levine 
Writing credits
Jonathan Levine (written by)

Produced by
Keith Calder .... producer
Jared Goldman .... line producer (as Jared Ian Goldman)
Felipe Marino .... producer
Joe Neurauter .... producer
Brian Udovich .... co-producer
Original Music by
David Torn 
Cinematography by
Petra Korner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Josh Noyes 
Casting by
Joanna Colbert 
Rich Mento  (as Richard Mento)
Production Design by
Annie Spitz 
Art Direction by
Beth Kuhn 
Set Decoration by
Cherish M. Hale  (as Cherish Magennis)
Costume Design by
Michael Clancy 
Makeup Department
Daisy Curbeon .... key hair stylist
Patricia Grande .... hair department head
Andrea Grande-Capone .... additional hair stylist
Linda Grimes .... makeup department head
Eve Morrow .... key makeup artist
Stacey Butterworth .... wig maker (uncredited)
Souraya Hamdi .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Dave Donars .... production supervisor
Jared Goldman .... unit production manager (as Jared Ian Goldman)
Zara Park .... post-production supervisor: digital intermediate, Modern Videofilm (as Zara Roberts)
Michael Toji .... post-production supervisor: EPC
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Epstein .... first assistant director
Bruce Hall .... second assistant director
Marcus Scigliano .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Derrick Alford .... key construction coordinator
Jamie Arbuckle .... on-set dresser
Scott Canfield .... leadman
Travis Child .... charge scenic
Anthony Cox .... best boy construction grip
Paul George Divone .... carpenter foreman (as Paul Divone)
Bridget Edwards .... additional set decoration shopper
Stephen Girouard .... key construction grip (as Stephen Geirouard)
Jonathan Hansen .... stage production assistant
Kenneth W. Hoare .... set dresser (as Kenny Hoare)
Greg Izzo .... set dresser
Duncan Johnson .... art department production assistant
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
Daniel Ritchel .... assistant property master (as Danny Ritchel)
Paul Robinson .... set dresser
Bea Spitz .... original artwork
Sabrina Wright-Gilliar .... property master (as Sabrina Wright)
Kara Zeigon .... set decoration buyer
Dan Kajeckas .... camera scenic artist (uncredited)
Michael Lee Nirenberg .... lead scenic artist (uncredited)
Adam Pessah .... camera scenic artist (uncredited)
Travis Quegan .... property (uncredited)
Noreen Souza-Bailey .... set dresser: additional crew (uncredited)
Greg Voth .... graphic artist (uncredited)
Joan Winters .... graphic design (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tara Blume .... sound effects editor
Eugene Gearty .... sound designer
John-Thomas Graves .... sound effects editor (as John Graves)
Anguibe Guindo .... boom operator
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer
Ken Ishii .... sound mixer
Trevor Jolly .... supervising sound editor
Eric Justen .... sound re-recording mixer
Donald Lyles .... adr mixer
Maciek Malish .... dialogue editor (as Maciek Malisch)
Maciek Malish .... foley editor (as Maciek Malisch)
David Marcus .... director of sound services
Joe Origlieri .... sound production assistant
Jeffrey Perkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Jeffrey A. Pitts .... sound effects editor (as Jeff Pitts)
Eddie Rogers .... dialogue editor
James Wright .... sound consultant: Dolby
Vance Walden .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Rene Clark .... digital imaging artist: Modern Videofilm
Manny Dubon .... iq assistant: Modern VideoFilm
Nicholas Hasson .... iq artist: Modern VideoFilm (as Nick A. Hasson)
Daniel Elliott Linger .... rotoscope artist: SnootFX
Dimitri Loginowski .... digital artist: SnootFX
Dave McCarthy .... drs operator: Modern Videofilm
Karen McCarthy .... drs operator: Modern Videofilm
Peter Moc .... digital imaging artist: Modern Videofilm
Allan Nadel .... visual effects compositor: SnootFX
Zara Park .... digital intermediate post-production supervisor: Modern Videofilm (as Zara Roberts)
Eric Scofield .... electronic graphics operator: Modern Videofilm
Dane Allan Smith .... visual effects producer: SnootFX (as Dane Smith)
Corina Zuniga .... electronic graphics operator: Modern Videofilm (as Corina L. Zuniga)
Tara Ansley .... assistant: visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Chris Barnes .... stunt coordinator
Cort Hessler .... stunt coordinator
Michael Lindengren .... stunt double: Dr. Squires
Ian Mclaughlin .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tamura Bakr .... company electrician
Daniel Beaman .... dolly grip (as Dan Beaman)
Mark Beattie .... company electrician
Eric Boncher .... stage rigging gaffer
Bob Calandro .... grip
John Coots .... best boy electric
John Corso .... camera operator
Divine Cox .... company grip
Jennifer Evans .... company grip
Joseph Fleming .... company grip
David Harges .... rigging best boy
Milly Itzhak .... second assistant camera
Zbigniew 'Ziggy' Kouros .... company grip (as Zbigniew Kouros)
Ed Koza .... company grip
Nina Kuhn .... company electrician
Dave McAllister .... key grip (as David McAllister)
Kevin McClean .... house electrician
Iris Ng .... rigging gaffer
Jesse Pelikan .... company grip
Steve Peloquin .... best boy grip (as Steven Peloquin)
Jeff Porter .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Sam Rosedietcher .... company grip (as Samuel Rosedietcher)
Benjamin Salley .... company electrician
Ken Shibata .... gaffer
Frank Stubblefield .... company electrician
Craig Vaccaro .... company grip
JoJo Whilden .... still photographer
William S. White .... loader (as Will White)
Dennis Yeandle .... additional still photographer
George Bianchini .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Matt Cross .... electrician (uncredited)
René Crout .... additional first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Robert DiGiacomo .... first assistant camera: underwater scenes (uncredited)
Chris Dixon .... electrician (uncredited)
Cory Durst .... company grip (uncredited)
Micah Eisenmann .... electrician (uncredited)
Afton Grant .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Martin Jaksa .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Martin .... electrician (uncredited)
Aaron Medick .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Matthew Mendelson .... electrician (uncredited)
Michele SchianodiCola .... best boy rigging electrician (uncredited)
Yoshi Sonoda .... electrician (uncredited)
Walter Strafford .... electrician (uncredited)
Joe Victorine .... additional electrician (uncredited)
William S. White .... additional first assistant camera (uncredited)
David Woolner .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jesse Lucy Allen .... casting assistant
Lee Genick .... extras casting assistant
Ronen Gevint .... background casting
Ali Merhi .... casting associate (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Felicity Gifford .... set costumer
Lisa Kisner .... wardrobe production assistant
Pilar Limosner .... assistant costume designer
Ivonne Reimann .... wardrobe intern
Laura Steinman .... wardrobe supervisor
Sonya Strich .... wardrobe intern
Merav Elbaz Belschner .... stitcher (uncredited)
Justine Chevalier .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Cassidy Mosher .... additional costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Jenny Bassichis .... post-production coordinator: Wow & Flutter
Carl L.W. Bochek III .... post-production assistant: EPC (as Carl Bochek)
Shawn Broes .... digital intermediate editor: Modern VideoFilm
Jason Crump .... dailies colorist: Mega Playground
Cristina Esterás-Ortiz .... dailies coordinator (as Cristina Esteras-Ortiz)
Joe Fineman .... post-production consultant: EPC
Joe Finley .... digital intermediate colorist: Modern VideoFilm
Alisha Marks .... post-production coordinator: Wow & Flutter
Bryan Park .... digital intermediate editor: Modern VideoFilm
Nicole Ruiz .... post-production coordinator: EPC
Stephen R. Sheridan .... color timer (as Steve Sheridan)
Amy Skerkoski .... post-production assistant: EPC
Michael Smollin .... dailies colorist: Mega Playground
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor: Technicolor N.Y. (as Joey Violante)
Music Department
Jim Black .... music supervisor
Ryan Michael Demaree .... assistant composer
Gabe Hilfer .... music coordinator
Bryan Lawson .... music producer (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
Bryan Lawson .... score mixer (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
Bryan Lawson .... supervising music editor (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
David Torn .... music producer
David Torn .... score mixer
Sam Zeines .... music editor
Transportation Department
Bobby Alberga .... driver (as Robert Alberga)
Lewis Dangelo .... driver
Bob Donavan .... driver (as Robert Donovan)
Billy Featherstone .... driver
Michael Fennimore .... transportation captain
George Grover .... driver
Jimmy Heidrich .... driver (as Jim Heidrich)
Gabe Turiello .... driver
Drew Yanarella .... driver
Other crew
Allison Adams .... assistant: Ben Kingsley
Adam Ballesteros .... assistant: producers
Howard Baral .... post-production accountant: R.C. Baral & Co.
Jeremy Brena .... stand-in: Josh Peck
Scott Brooks .... set production assistant
Grant Carpenter .... production intern
Rob Coleman .... location scout
Kathleen Corbin .... location coordinator
Olivia Curtis .... adr loop group
Evan Davies .... adr loop group
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Shannon Dry .... first assistant accountant
Harriet Steel Durkes .... set production assistant
Katrina Dykes .... scheduling director: Wow & Flutter
Corrine Ellington .... stand-in: Framke Janssen
Cristina Esterás-Ortiz .... dailies coordinator: Mega Playground (as Cristina Esteras-Ortiz)
Lindsay Feldman .... production coordinator
Tori Fritz .... adr loop group
Michelle Garcia .... production intern
Stephen Garrett .... electronic press kit
Sky Gewant .... set production assistant
Chris Gewehr .... adr loop group
Robert Gillespie .... production intern
Billy Gooch .... set production assistant
Eric Goodwin .... production intern
James Granger .... production secretary
Libby Grant .... adr loop group
Trish Gray .... location scout
Greg Highsmith .... payroll accountant
Jennifer Hoopes .... location coordinator
Sierra Hornung .... adr loop group
Nora Jenewein .... production intern
Phyllis Kaufman .... legal counsel: Fish & Richardson
Ryan David Kohler .... office production assistant
Katie Kramer .... set production assistant
Kristina Lee .... assistant production coordinator
Evan Levine .... production intern
Ross Levine .... production consultant
Stephen Lippross .... production accountant
Emilie Maison .... press attache france
Elizabeth Marley .... stand-in: Olivia Thirlby
Christopher Menges .... location assistant (as Chris Menges)
Karen S. Neasi .... product placement coordinator (as Karen Neasi)
Shikha Nirula .... dailies coordinator: Mega Playground
John H. Powers .... set production assistant
Matthew Reedy .... key set production assistant (as Matthew J. Reedy)
Dawn Rosado .... craft service assistant
Ali Rossiter .... production intern
Betsy Rudnick .... unit publicist: Falco Ink.
Chris Santangelo .... stand-in: Ben Kingsley
Ian Sitek .... additional key production assistant
Collin Smith .... location manager
Jeannine Sturtevant .... adr loop group
Rodney Tait .... assistant parking coordinator
Shannon Treusch .... unit publicist: Falco Ink.
Gabe Turiello Jr. .... production assistant
Rob van de Laar .... craft service
David Velasco .... assistant location manager
Chris von Hoffmann .... production assistant
Allison Wardley .... production intern
Sharon Watt .... script supervisor
Jack Wheeler .... set production assistant
Nicole Berger .... choreographer (uncredited)
Sarah Berge Giarraffa .... assistant: Ms. Janssen (uncredited)
Todd M. Hofacker .... assistant: Ben Kingsley (uncredited)
Brendan Kehoe .... location scout (uncredited)
Doug McCafferty .... production assistant (uncredited)
Sean Pinnow .... intern (uncredited)
Adam S. Poswolsky .... location scout (uncredited)
Wendy L. York .... additional script supervisor (uncredited)
Judy Greer .... very special thanks
Tom Hanks .... very special thanks
Phedon Papamichael .... very special thanks
Liz Phair .... special thanks
Shawn Regruto .... thanks
Jason Rio .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

"The What?" performed by The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Method Man is playing while Luke visits his supplier Percy, who happens to be played by Method Man himself.See more »
Miscellaneous: During the end credits, when listing Olivia Thirlby's stand-in, Thirlby is incorrectly spelled as "Thirby."See more »
Dr. Squires:Life has a funny way of turning you into the one thing you don't want to be.See more »
Movie Connections:
Just a FriendSee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "The Wackness" based on a novel?
How big of a role does Mary-Kate Olsen have in this movie?
See more »
26 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
A Drug Dealer is "God's Lonely Boy", 14 July 2008
Author: madbandit20002000 from Queens, New York, USA

The coming-of-age genre has been a welcome staple in cinema from the classic monolith "Rebel Without A Cause" to the recent uber-smash "Juno", whose young protagonists are fraught with having old souls while trying to make a place in the world, despite pressure and apathy from their peers and parents.

One newcomer is high school grad Luke Shapiro, played with urban wisdom and smooth shyness by NYC native Josh Peck, in Jonathan Levine's funky yet poignant film, "The Wackness". In New York City, during the summer of 1994, then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani (before his shameless, self-adoration after the Sept 11 attacks; the WTC towers make a haunting CGI appearance here) waged a no-nonsense war against quality of life crimes so tourists wouldn't gag while seeing homelessness, public inebriation, prostitution or drug trafficking. Phoniness: a religion of the moron.

His parents strapped for cash (due to his dad's badly thought-out, "get rich quick" schemes), Shapiro slyly flips the bird at the system by selling marijuana out of a beaten up ice cream cart, with a boom box (that's an over-sized radio/cassette player to you tadpoles) attached to it, playing the likes of rap acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Biggie Smalls and DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith. Great idea, but since when did drug dealers, aside from Frank Lucas from "American Gangster", ever had great ideas? Ergo, Luke's a lone wolf, ever since school. A subtle, near-silent applause is given when he gets his diploma. He sits over an awning, looking down at the partiers at a post-graduation soiree he wasn't invited to, but asked to supply the weed. If you know how he feels, don't be ashamed to cry. I know I did.

Fortunately, Luke's best client is his shrink, Jeff Squires (a madcap, mercurial Sir Ben Kingsley, who should get Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor), who gives him dubious advice ("Get laid") while taking a quarter of grass as payment. However, Squires doesn't take well to Luke's infatuation with his step-daughter, the high class Stephanie ("Juno's" Olivia Thirlby, also a NYC native). Sometimes, first loves aren't the best ones.

If you think the film's about a Jewish kid immersing himself in hip-hop culture, you're so wrong. An audience award winner at both the Sundance and Los Angeles film festivals, "The Wackness", an earnest attempt to adapt "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, is the first coming of age piece that reminiscently focuses on the 1990s, making refs to "Beverly Hills 90210", the late rocker Kurt Cobain, the pulsating (and better) rap music and Giuliani's near-fascistic and racist mayoral reign (like me, a NYC resident, Squires sees it as a basic and pathetic hiding of the symptoms of society's ills). Graffiti font is made as opening credits, respected by Levine, whose script is alive (also should get nominated) and direction is competent cool and quick in a drug-like haze.

His actors are reliable, like Mary-Kate Olsen as a squirrel-brain, hippie chick, rapper Method Man as Luke's Caribbean-accented boss, Famke Janseen (the X-Men trilogy) as Squires's frigid trophy wife and David Wohl and Talia Balsam as Luke's bickering parents. Even Jane Adams is pretty cool as a one-hit musician-cum-stoner. Personally, the film's narrative is an attractive, alternative version of my own of trial by fire.

That comes down to Peck, a grad from the tween sitcom "Drake and Josh", who perfectly echoes Robert DeNiro and John Cusack from their lead roles in "Taxi Driver" (Mr. Levine was the assistant of the film's writer Paul Schrader) and "Say Anything". Sure, Luke's cool beyond cool, but he's an old man in a young man's body, a mirror image to Kingsley's Squires, who has trouble in his marriage. Thirbly, as Stephanie, nicely reps fear behind careless hedonism: When Luke's honest about his feelings for her, during a rendezvous on Fire Island, she finds it holographic, not noticing she's talking about herself while being with "God's lonely boy."

With its' drug use, urban vibe and stark individualism, I don't know if "The Wackness" will be 2008's "Juno" (IT COULD!!!), but I do know it's a honest film.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wackness (2008)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Josh Peck ccsimenson
About Guiliani and New York City triviadude
Raise your hand if you couldn't make it through the whole movie mets811
Just because there was drugs and Hip-hop doesn't make this a good movie element_0f_s0n1c_def1ance
Shower Sex Scene fishguts16182
would have been a good movie without josh peck elanabana
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