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The Wackness (2008; Rated Rated R)

The Wackness
B-
 

“Olivia Thirlby could become a major star.”

-Richard Roeper

The Wackness Review

The Wackness

(2008; R)

In theaters:
Friday, 18 January 2008

Summary: 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.

Genre:
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Director:
Jonathan Levine

Cast:
Ben Kingsley

"The Wackness" is an offbeat, studiously indie-feeling movie set in those long ago days of the mid-1990s. Josh Peck strikes an interesting blend of cockiness and vulnerability as Luke Shapiro. He’s an Upper East Side pot dealer whose wisecracks mask his insecurities. Ben Kingsley takes on yet another bizarre fogey role as Luke’s therapist, who’s also one of his clients. Olivia Thirlby plays his daughter, Stephanie. She’s the girl of Luke’s dreams.

On the heels of her supporting work in "Juno" and "Snow Angels," Thirlby’s performance here confirms my belief she’s on the verge of genuine stardom. "The Wackness" is a minor triumph. I don’t want to oversell it. There’s a bit too much of the contrived quirkiness, highlighted by a bar scene with Mary-Kate Olsen. But there’s a certain, aching authenticity to Luke’s relationships with his father-figure shrink, and the girl who is almost certainly going to break his heart.
 

 
 
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