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The Wackness

4.5 2
Director: Jonathan Levine, Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Famke Janssen

Cast: Jonathan Levine, Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Famke Janssen


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A psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley) is put into a moral quandary when a young drug dealer who's been supplying him with pot in exchange for clinical treatment ends up dating his daughter in this comedy from All the Boys Love Mandy Lane's writer/director Jonathan


A psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley) is put into a moral quandary when a young drug dealer who's been supplying him with pot in exchange for clinical treatment ends up dating his daughter in this comedy from All the Boys Love Mandy Lane's writer/director Jonathan Levine. Josh Peck, Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Method Man co-star in the Occupant Films production.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
For those confused by this film's title, "the wackness" is roughly the opposite of "the dopeness," according to Olivia Thirlby's Stephanie, who accuses Josh Peck's Luke of fixating on the ways the world is "wack." There's a lot that's wack here, or just plain out of whack, so The Wackness makes an appropriate title. The 2008 Sundance Audience Award winner is a curious creation; while some smart details and technique validate the affection of the Sundance crowd, the film is stricken with a meandering and underdeveloped narrative. But since it also tries to hit the emotional beats of a traditional storyline, there's a disconnect between its actual impact and its intended impact. It works slightly better as a character study. Not your stereotypical drug dealer, Luke doesn't partake, is like a rap-loving jock without the athletic skills, and has New York authenticity in spades. However, since Peck never makes him precisely more than the sum of character traits, it's hard to invest in his journey. Another challenge to that endeavor is his relationship with Stephanie, the apparently slumming popular girl who toys with Luke into blurry emotional territory. It's a contrived pairing offered merely for plot mechanics. At the same time, without their relationship, the film's literal shining moment -- a shower love scene split by sun beams -- wouldn't be possible. Without hyperbole, this ranks up there with the most sensuously filmed kissing scenes of all time, but it sticks out abruptly in a sea of uneven dramedy. Ben Kingsley's pot-smoking therapist may be the biggest contrivance of all, his scenes laden with labored schtick and trumped-up conflict -- though he's plenty fun to watch. Writer-director Jonathan Levine should have a promising future, but his fragmented skills need to coalesce first. The Wackness is more dope than wack, but just barely.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Deleted Scenes; Commentary with Josh Peck and Director Jonathan Levine; Luke Shapiro's Dope Show; Keeping It Real: A Day in the Life of Jonathan Levine; Time in a Bottle: Behind-the-scenes of The Wackness

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Kingsley Dr. Jeffrey Squires
Josh Peck Luke Shapiro
Famke Janssen Mrs. Squires
Olivia Thirlby Stephanie
Mary-Kate Olsen Union
Jane Adams Eleanor
Method Man Percy
Aaron Yoo Justin
Talia Balsam Mrs. Shapiro
David Wohl Mrs. Shapiro
Bob Dishy Grandpa Shapiro
Joanna Merlin Grandma Shapiro
Shannon Briggs Bodyguard #1
Roy Milton Davis Homeless Man

Technical Credits
Jonathan Levine Director,Screenwriter
Jim Black Musical Direction/Supervision
Keith Calder Producer
Michael Claney Costumes/Costume Designer
Joanna Colbert Casting
Paul Epstein Asst. Director
Ken Ishii Sound/Sound Designer
Petra Korner Cinematographer
Beth Kuhn Art Director
Felipe Marino Producer
Richard Mento Casting
Joe Neurauter Producer
Josh Noyes Editor
Annie Spitz Production Designer
David Torn Score Composer
Brian Udovich Co-producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wackness
1. Chapter 1 [4:34]
2. Chapter 2 [2:23]
3. Chapter 3 [3:01]
4. Chapter 4 [1:36]
5. Chapter 5 [4:57]
6. Chapter 6 [3:22]
7. Chapter 7 [2:06]
8. Chapter 8 [2:34]
9. Chapter 9 [4:05]
10. Chapter 10 [1:21]
11. Chapter 11 [5:50]
12. Chapter 12 [2:41]
13. Chapter 13 [1:39]
14. Chapter 14 [5:26]
15. Chapter 15 [2:15]
16. Chapter 16 [3:32]
17. Chapter 17 [2:23]
18. Chapter 18 [1:01]
19. Chapter 19 [3:59]
20. Chapter 20 [2:00]
21. Chapter 21 [4:53]
22. Chapter 22 [2:43]
23. Chapter 23 [3:17]
24. Chapter 24 [5:04]
25. Chapter 25 [3:23]
26. Chapter 26 [4:07]
27. Chapter 27 [5:42]
28. Chapter 28 [8:49]


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The Wackness 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Apollo_Faint-Of-Hearts More than 1 year ago
Aside from Ben Kingsley's spectatular performance, the acting in this film is decent. I recommend to rent this one! I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I ever watch it again. Josh Peck delivers, by far, his best performance yet in this. It's the closest thing he's done to convincing acting, and yes, I've seen Mean Creek. The movie is also much better if you just mentally delete Mary-Kate Olsen and her character from your memory. She cannot act anymore, and she absolutley cannot portray a druggie. Famke Janssen is alright; her performance here is similar to her part in The Faculty.
If nothing else, check this out for Ben Kingsley!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago