Saturday, January 8, 2011

Metafizics Theatre Presents: The Wackness

The Wackness was awarded the Audience Award for Dramatic Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.


  • Ben Kingsley as Dr. Jeffrey Squires
  • Josh Peck as Luke Shapiro
  • Famke Janssen as Kristin Squires
  • Olivia Thirlby as Stephanie Squires
  • Mary-Kate Olsen as Union
  • Method Man as Percy
  • David Wohl as Mr. Shapiro
  • Jane Adams as Eleanor
  • Talia Balsam as Mrs. Shapiro
  • Aaron Yoo as Justin
The Wackness is a coming of age story that many and possibly most people can relate to. When I first heard about this movie and the lead actor being Josh Peck, I definitely raised an eyebrow. How serious could a movie be with the fat kid from such Nickelodeon programming as the movie "Snow Day" and the show "Drake and Josh"? Why should I waste my time? 
It all takes place in New York City, circa 1994. The peak of the golden age of Hip Hop. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is a high school senior getting ready for graduation and his first semester of college. In the meantime he trades pot for psychiatry visits with his mentor/psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley). At the same time, Luke has a serious crush on Dr. Squires's step daughter, Stephanie Squires (Olivia Thirlby) whom is pretty well known at school. Luke is not the most popular kid in school and is awkward in most situations when it comes to speaking with Stephanie. Luckily for Luke, all of her friends go away for the summer and she chooses to hang around with him. Every lame kid's dream.
During the long hot summer, Luke and his parents go through a financial crisis that requires him to put the burden of provider squarely on his two shoulders. With an ingenious idea to make money quickly, we're taken on an adventure that spans an entire summer. The old school 90s soundtrack is heavily laced with nostalgia and is incredibly thematic. This movie is for those who have been heartbroken, the hip-hop heads, also Rock aficionados, people looking for a little culture and enlightenment, and especially those not looking for a traditional Hollywood movie. 
I learned a lot about myself from the movie. I definitely identify with one of the best quotes in the film: 

"So that was all bullshit right? All that stuff about embracing your pain, making it a part of you? You can't do this, you can't just give up. Life is hard and it's full of pain and what-not, but we take it cause there's great stuff too. And we can do it cause we have friends- because we have each other" - Luke Shapiro 
 I implore you. Come learn a little bit about yourself. Take a look in the mirror. You might finish the movie, a different person. 
Oh yeah, and Method Man is a Jamaican drug dealer. Watch it!


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