One of the films that I just won’t shut up about from this year’s Sundance Film Festival is director Jonathan Levine’s sophomore effort The Wackness, the story of a recent high school grad named Luke Shapiro, played by Josh Peck, and his drug-dealing, love-struck summer of 1994.
Set in New York City and complimented by a soundtrack that features sounds that will take you back to the hayday of hip-hop, The Wackness is probably one of the quintessential summer comedies, one of the best films that you will see that doesn’t include a superhero. As I said in my review from Sundance, The Wackness is a dark comedy filled with “sex, drugs and rap music,” and not to mention a stellar round of performances from Josh Peck, Juno’s Olivia Thirlby and Sir Ben Kingsley. It is one of those flicks that will really help complete this summer of blockbusters by delivering an experience best served with a reclining chair and a cold glass of lemonade — spiked with rum, of course.
To help prove my point, here is a little video clip of the film’s opening sequence:
[flv:http://media.filmschoolrejects.com/clips/wackness-intro.flv 460 200]
If that isn’t enough to get you interested, I would suggest that you revisit the recently released red band trailer or the Tale of the Trailers article that I wrote, which features multiple green band clips. Hell, I don’t know what else to say about this film other than the fact that you should see it. It appeared on my 15 Must See Movies of Summer 2008 list and took home both the Sundance Audience Award and most recently the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. I also ranked it #2 on my list of the Ten Best Films of Sundance 2008. Seriously, what more do I have to say. Oh yeah, this is the movie in which Ben Kingsley makes out with Mary-Kate Olsen, for the record.
Alright, how about a release schedule. The Wackness started its release on July 3 by opening in New York and Los Angeles — it will roll out to the following cities across the United States on the following dates:
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Miami / Ft. Lauderdale / West Palm
Salt Lake City