82 user 135 critic

The Wackness (2008)

2:14 | Trailer
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.


Jonathan Levine


Jonathan Levine
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
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


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes it's right to do the wrong things. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Josh peck doesn't smoke weed in real life 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 »


Dr. Squires: Life has a funny way of turning you into the one thing you don't want to be.
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 »


Written by Robert Kool Bell (as Robert Bell), Ronald Bell, George Funky Brown (as George Brown), Hula Mahone (as Lamar Mahone), Robert Spike Mickens (as Robert Mickens), Craig Simpkins, Claydes Smith, Will Smith, Alton Taylor, Dennis D.T. Thomas (as Dennis Thomas), Richard Westfield
Performed by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Courtesy of Jive Records
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

User Reviews

Aimless Tired Cynical (and that's good)
9 March 2014 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's the summer of '94 in Giuliani's New York City. Friendless Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) deals drugs from his ices cart, and his parents are constantly fighting. He trades pot for therapy from psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley). Luke falls for Jeffrey's stepdaughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). She treats him like a friend at first, but he wants so much more.

I wasn't sold on Josh Peck's performance at first, but it kind of grew on me. He's aimless, tired, and cynical. Ben Kingsley's character isn't much better. He spends his days smoking weed, and he rather do some groping on Mary-Kate Olsen. Olivia Thirlby plays the closest thing to a full grown adult in this movie or is she the most damaged? Director/writer Jonathan Levine brings these characters to life even though there isn't much life in these characters. It has a certain low energy charm to it all.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 82 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

1 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wackness See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$138,401, 6 July 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed