Movie Diary: The Wackness.

Oh hey, I saw "The Wackness" last night. I wasn't at all sure what I was getting into with that movie, but I ended up liking it. I guess I have a weakness for coming-of-age movies, though. The fact that it was a quasi-period piece about an 18 year old boy in the summer of 1994, which makes him exactly my age, as I was 18 in the summer of 1994, didn't hurt either. But this boy is different from me in a lot of ways, primarily that he's a drug-dealing Manhattanite with a fake ice-cream cart and a fondness for hip-hop that far outstrips my own. I did like a lot of hip-hop in 94, though, so a lot of the songs on the soundtrack brought back memories for me. But I liked the movie itself, too. The drug-dealing kid, Luke, has kind of a crappy home life, and he's a bit adrift in general, so he ends up in an arrangement with Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley), the stepfather of a girl named Stephanie that he goes to school with (and deals drugs to). Dr. Squires trades Luke regular therapy sessions in exchange for pot. Squires and Luke inadvertently become friends of sorts, but when Luke develops a crush on Stephanie, and seems to have his feelings reciprocated, it drives a wedge between he and Squires. A lot more happens besides that, including one great scene where Squires and Luke hit up a bar and get wasted together, at which point they run into a hippie girl Luke sells to, played by Mary Kate Olsen of all people, and she hooks up with Squires. Really, though, the plot is pretty predictable, and it's nothing that hasn't been seen a bunch of times before. That said, I feel like the actors and script are good enough to keep the movie interesting throughout. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who doesn't typically enjoy coming-of-age movies, as it's not good enough to rise above its genre, but for someone like me, who is kind of a sucker for that sort of thing, it's an enjoyable viewing experience.



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