The Wackness is one of those movies which is almost impossible to market in a PG world. It’s about a teenager drug dealer’s last summer before he heads off to college. And while that’s the one sentence breakdown, I’m sure you can already tell, it’s much more than that. I’ve given this movie rave after rave, and have seen it four times on the festival circuit. So there is no point in telling you it’s one of my favorite films of the year.
Until today, the teaser trailers have been rather weak. Every time something new has been released, I’ve found myself defending the movie that can’t be represented in a green band movie trailer. Sony Pictures Classics have finally released a red band trailer on IGN, and you’ll immediately see the difference. No, it’s not filled with swears or nudity. It does what the best red band movie trailers do best, and sells the movie accurately. If you watch this trailer and tell me you’re still not interested then maybe The Wackness isn’t for you. But I assure you, if you grew up in the 90’s, then you’ll probably digg this film.
It’s the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip hop and wafting with the sweet aroma of marijuana. The newly-inaugurated mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, is only beginning to implement his anti-fun initiatives against “crimes” like noisy portable radio, graffiti and public drunkenness.
Two people, however, are missing out on the excitement. Luke (Josh Peck) is a socially uncomfortable teenage pot dealer with no friends, issues with his parents, and a whopping lack of confidence with girls. He trades weed for sessions with his therapist, Dr. Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley), whose much-younger wife (Famke Janssen) is slipping away from him. Squires, a drug-addled shrink with a hairline retreating to the back of his neck and a state of mind slouching back to adolescence, is an unlikely role model—but the two of them forge a friendship based on a mutual need: neither one is getting laid.
Propelled by an exuberant hip hop score, “The Wackness” captures the spell of 1994–a time of pagers, not cell phones; a time when Tupac and Biggie were alive but Kurt Cobain had just died. Funny and moving, “The Wackness” is an offbeat tale of two lost souls stumbling towards maturity.
The Wackness hits theaters on July 3rd 2008.