The Wackness

Recommended

95 min. minutes | Rated R

In Jonathan Levine’s sharp little movie, the baby-faced Josh Peck stars as Luke Shapiro, a low-level pot dealer whose life is fraying around him. Luke spends his days peddling weed to regular clients, and his nights listening to his parents fight. His main outlet is a weekly visit to a psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley), a crumbling quack who, when he’s not dispensing dubious advice, is abusing Luke’s product. This odd friendship between doctor and patient—forged via pot, cemented thanks to loneliness, and eventually strained by Luke’s crush on the Dr. Squires’s stepdaughter Stephanie (the crushworthy Olivia Thirlby)—is the center of the film. The Wackness falters occasionally, and Levine’s direction sometimes risks being too flashy for the material, but for every brief stumble there’s a moment that rings absolutely true. Given the number of movies that are entirely plastic these days, that alone makes The Wackness worth seeing.

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Film Credits
Director
Jonathan Levine
Cast
Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby, Mary-Kate Olsen, Method Man, Aaron Yoo, Charlene Biton, Nicole Berger, Sean Dillon