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
The screenplay for this movie was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »
As Squires laments on the new New York he quotes Starbucks as an example of the city's Disneyfication. But 1994 was Starbucks' New York debut and they were not yet synonymous with unchecked corporate growth. See more »
The city's a disaster, Luke. Its not like it used to be. It's plastic. One big fucking happy meal.
Some people like happy meals.
Some people like the Yankees too, Luke. It doesn't mean they're right.
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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 »
On Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 I was able to attend the west coast premiere of "The Wackness" at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco. I had paid $150 just so me and my two friends could see it and it was money well spent. The movie grabs you from the start and doesn't let up until it ends.
set in New York 1994 it is a story about a troubled drug dealer Luke Shapiro(played excellently by Josh Peck) who has struck a deal with his therapist Dr.Squires(Ben Kingsley in one of his best performances in many years) in which he will trade him weed in exchange for sessions. Along the way he falls for Dr.Squires' step-daughter Stephanie(played by the extremely talented Olivia Thirlby).
What makes this movie so great is it's focus on the characters. No character is perfect. Each has a set of his or her own flaws. Each character is written well and not just a simple stereotype. Each actor feels like they were meant for the role they were given. Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck create some of the best scenes in movie history. Olivia Thirlby has demonstrated range from JUNO to SNOW ANGELS to this. She took what could have been a one-dimensional character into something magnificent. She is a great actress who I hope to keep on seeing in the future.
It also featured a good selection of songs from 1994 that help the flow of this movie.
I have not cried at a movie in years. But I cried during this. It is a beautiful coming of age tale that quite a few people can relate to. Johnathan Levine, who directed this masterpiece, has a bright future ahead of him. He is talented and and makes this movie sincere. This movie is a well-written piece of cinematic heaven. I hope it can find it's audience when it is released to theaters.
Also I hope they release an extended version or at least the deleted scenes with the DVD as the director told the audience that there was about 40 minutes of cut out from the finished product.
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