Movie review: "The Wackness" (2008)
The gist: Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) doesn't fit the drug dealer stereotype – no BMW, bling, babes or bullets. When he's not pushing his ice-cream cart full of weed around New York, tuning out beneath his headphones as he sells baggies to earn money for college, he's hanging with his only friend/regular customer/psychiatrist, Dr Jeffrey Squires MD (Ben Kingsley). Luke wants to grow up; the doc wishes he was young again. During the stinking-hot summer of 1994, they bond over music and mind-altering substances while suffering the wackness of relationship breakdowns.
Selling points: Our unlikely hero's romance with Squires' stepdaughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby), doomed by their differing levels of experience and expectation. A broad picture of dependence that doesn't get preachy or even distinguish between alcohol, cigarettes, pot, prescribed pills, etc. A cool soundtrack featuring A Tribe Called Quest, The Notorious B.I.G and other popular acts from the period. In short, sex and drugs and hip-hop.
It's kinda like: Coming of age in the Big Apple in the mid-90s.
Final word: More dope than wack.
[Australian cinema release date: November 13]