Aug 2008 05

Definition of “wackness,” as according to —

“The state of being wack. A measure of the degree to which someone or something is wack. Alternatively, an exclamation indicating a high degree of wackness in the general surroundings.”

The Wackness is the story of Luke Shapiro, a teenager living in New York City in 1994. Luke is a normal high school senior – not popular, yet not unlikeable. Actually, I feel that the character portrayed in this movie is very likeable, and I would have no reason to believe that Luke should have any problem being respected by his peers. Luke is an all around good guy, but he is held back by his parents constantly arguing, and his lack of confidence. He is lonely, and does not have any true friends. Most of the people that he associated himself with are more acquaintances, or clients. That is because Luke is a drug dealer.

We are introduced to many of Luke’s regular clients on his journey to find someone to care about, and more so – find himself. Luke’s therapist (played by Ben Kingsly) is one of his most frequent clients, as they trades therapy sessions for dime bags. Dr. Squires is also the step-father of Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby, best known for her role as the best friend of Juno). Stephanie is the girl of Luke’s dreams. Throughout the movie, Dr. Squires unknowingly feeds Luke the advice and confidence that he needs to be with his step-daughter. As time goes on, both therapist and patient become greater friends, and they learn a lot from each other. At the same time, Luke gets closer and closer to Stephanie, and learns what it is like to fall in love.

The movie has a few known supporting actors; Method Man as Luke’s supplier, Aaron Yoo (Disturbia) as a high school classmate, and Mary-Kate Olsen as one of his stoner hippie friends who seems to live in the park. The story is very well written, and all of the characters are very interesting. The film keeps you wondering about who these people are, and what makes them that way. Just when you think you know, they become something different. At times, you begin to feel sorry for Luke, because he is so likeable, and you wish that the people around him could all see it. Just when you think that people are starting to notice, and things are going well, he hits an emotional brick wall.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the Wackness. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to sit back and simply watch a good movie, full of hip hop classics from the early 90s. This movie definitely is NOT wack.



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