Wacking out

wacknessThe Wackness ( 2008 )

Top-billed among popular movie blog sites as The Movie Where Gandhi Sucks Face With That Olsen Twin, ‘The Wackness’ really IS that movie and a lot more. In the same vein as most coming-of-age movies, ‘The Wackness’ contains the usual ingredients of teenage angst tragicomedies set to a Manhattan ’90s summer backdrop.

There is definitely an autobiographical feel to this slightly maudlin drama, and it’s exactly the kind of storytelling that shows more love for the writer’s own material rather than reaching out to its audience. Josh Peck’s portrayal of the low-key teen Luke Shapiro is fun to watch (but delivers the oddest lines no human would ever say) and Ben Kingsley effortlessly steals every scene as Dr. Squires- a psychiatrist with more issues than all his patients combined. But with each ensuing scene, Peck’s character becomes less and less likeable- and so does the whole movie. Surreal elements stick out; and at the end of it all, it’s come down to the same material we’ve seen before- just lensed a different way. Shapiro’s eventual transformation isn’t rewarding, nor is it moving. In fact it stays true to the film’s nature. Uhmm, now that’s wack, yo.

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