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The Wackness (2008)

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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


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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

1 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bódulat 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,077,116, 23 October 2008

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 »

Did You Know?


"The What?" performed by The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Method Man is playing while Luke visits his supplier Percy, who was played by Method Man. See more »


During the scene where Luke and Dr. Squires are walking near Times Square, an advertisement for a Pontiac Solstice can clearly be seen in the background. The production year for this car began after 2005. See more »


Dr. Squires: The city's a disaster, Luke. Its not like it used to be. It's plastic. One big fucking happy meal.
Luke Shapiro: Some people like happy meals.
Dr. Squires: Some people like the Yankees too, Luke. It doesn't mean they're right.
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 »


References Forrest Gump (1994) See more »


You Used to Love Me
Written by Chucky Thompson, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Faith Evans
Performed by Faith Evans
Courtesy of Bad Boy Records LLC
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the best this year
6 May 2008 | by x-ericSee all my reviews

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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