The Wackness

{4/5} “Sometimes it’s right to do the wrong thing, and right now is one of those times.”

The Wackness, released in 2008

I never understood the desire to do drugs. I don’t want to be someone else — I want to be myself. The friends I hang out with, I like who they are — so I don’t want them to be someone else either. I don’t seek out movies where the characters are sitting around doing drugs. So I had no particular plan to watch this movie, but a friend recommended it. I enjoyed it for its engagement with philosophical ideas of what life’s about.

It’s 1994 in New York. Luke is graduating from high school — he’s a nice kid who happens to be a drug dealer (we don’t see how he got started). He sees a psychologist, Dr. Squires, and pays him in marijuana. There’s a girl he likes, Stephanie, who happens to be Squires’ stepdaughter. Luke’s parents yell at each other a lot. Meanwhile, Squires and his wife don’t have much in common and they basically ignore each other.

It’s a movie about what’s important in life — friendship, love, music. In the summer before he heads off to college Jeff learns some things — about himself, and about the people around him.

Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) plays Dr. Squires, Josh Peck (the TV show Drake and Josh) plays Luke, and Olivia Thirlby (Juno) plays Stephanie. Kingsley, of course, totally inhabits every role he plays. The relative newcomers Peck and Thirlby do a fine job. Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Jane Adams have smaller roles. The movie was directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50).

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 7:40 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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