The Wackness DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 8.0
Audio 7.7
Special Features 1.0
Total 7.5
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 104 minutes
Classification: MA15+
Reviewer:
Jamie Kirk

7.5


The Wackness

The Wackness is the story of pot dealer Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck), and his summer after graduating high school. An outcast with no friends, troubles at home, and a crushing lack of confidence with girls, Shapiro sees a therapist, Dr Squires (Ben Kingsley) in exchange for weed. Squires has his own problems, his marriage is disintegrating and he wishes to be an adolescent again. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and begin a trek for girls, something they both think they need. Here they end up meeting several quirky characters. Among them are Shapiro’s supplier (Method Man), a drug using hippy (Mary-Kate Olsen), and a pot addled one hit wonder (Jane Adams), who has a thing for Dr Squires. During the course of their quest Shapiro begins a relationship with Dr Squires step daughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Believed to be out of his league, Shapiro finds himself experiencing his first real taste of true love.

Set against a backdrop of New York City in 1994, the film is a semi autobiographical tale of director Jonathan Levine’s life growing up. Rudolph Giuliani had just become mayor, a heatwave was ripping through the city and hip hop was all over the streets. The film won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival and is a humorous, yet moving film. It has been compared to recent indie comedy successes Juno and Little Miss Sunshine, yet doesn’t really bare much of a resemblance. The characters are not pop culture minutiae spewing vehicles and the film as a whole is much less laugh out loud funny. That being said the film is consistently humorous but is also more dramatic in tone than either of the films it is being compared to.

Both Peck and Kingsley are great in their roles, and the friendship that grows between them seems very organic. The visual style and details in the history also contain many great little touches. It is obvious that Levine has lived this world and his look back at New York in the 90’s is a charming piece of nostalgia that is engaging, well acted and well directed.

The only special feature on the DVD is a theatrical trailer, so unless you are already a big fan maybe give this one a rent first.

 






 
 



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