THE WACKNESS

THE WACKNESS movie poster

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 colossal 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: getting laid.

The intergenerational duo set off on a crawl that takes them all over New York, where they encounter several of Luke’s business associates, including a Phish-following dreadlocked pixie (Mary Kate Olsen), a New Wave, keyboard-playing one-hit-wonder (Jane Adams), and Luke’s supplier (Method Man).

Luke has long had an aching crush on Dr. Squires’ way-out-of-his-league stepdaughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby) and is stunned at his good luck when she returns his affections. Luke’s innocent first love experience with Stephanie becomes a life lesson that sets him on the pathway towards adulthood. And when Squires breaks down, it is up to the younger man to throw the older one a lifeline.

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