The Wackness

July 25th, 2008


The Wackness

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Still of Ben Kingsley in The WacknessStill of Olivia Thirlby in The WacknessOlivia Thirlby at event of The WacknessStill of Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck in The WacknessStill of Ben Kingsley in The WacknessStill of Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck in The Wackness

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.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 7.0/10 (17,263 voted)

Director: Jonathan Levine

Stars: Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Olivia Thirlby

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.

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

Taglines: Summer 1994. The girls were fly. The music was dope. And Luke was just trying to deal.


Official Website: Bac Films [France] | Official Facebook |

Release Date: 25 July 2008

Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $138,401 (USA) (6 July 2008) (6 Screens)

Gross: $2,899,975 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The scene in which Luke dances and the pavement lights up is a reference to Michael Jackson's video to his song "Billie Jean".

Anachronisms: 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.

Dr. Squires: He doesn't appreciate you.
Elanor: How do you know that?
Dr. Squires: He couldn't possibly.
Elanor: That's a compliment, right?
Dr. Squires: [touches brim of hat] Ma'am.

User Review

The Wackness > All The Real Girls

Rating: 9/10

This might get me into trouble with the film elite, but I found this film so much more real and absorbing than David Gordon Green's "All The Real Girls." They both deal with young men coming of age thanks to first love, but this film has such superior performances and writing. Expertly directed and stacked with some of the best hip hop of the nineties, it's a film that is hilarious, sad and moving, populated with great characters you'll enjoy spending a couple of hours with.

I really wish a film like this had found me in my teenage years, because it's so refreshing and honest. It's nice to watch a movie that celebrates the time honored art of owning and embracing the pain that makes you who you are.

People whine and bitch about the glut of hollow Hollywood formula flooding the marketplace, but a great little film like The Wackness with a strong voice is not getting the support it deserves.

The entire theater loved it, as did my friends I brought along who knew nothing about it.

Do yourself a favor and go see The Wackness. You won't be disappointed.


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