Saturday, March 7, 2009
Ahh 1994. I remember you well. I would go home after school to watch Rapcity on Much Music (yes, this is true). I was devastated by the death of Kurt Cobain (even though before it happened I didn't even know who he was). My favourite actress was Drew Barrymore (I still wish we were best friends). I wore ridiculous baggy jeans with giant plaid shirts and white face powder with revlon's Blackberry lipstick. I was 12.
It's the summer of 1994 and Luke Shapiro is is either the most popular of the unpopular kids or the most unpopular of the popular, but that doesn’t matter anymore because high school is over. Alone in sweltering New York City, during the no-man's-land between graduation and starting college, Luke is "mad depressed, yo." He spends the summer dealing pot to, among other people, his psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley - oh sorry, Sir Ben Kingsley), who imparts this wisdom: "Don't trust anyone who doesn't smoke pot and listen to Bob Dylan." Boundaries are shifting, and Luke finds himself in love with a girl who barely spoke to him in school. But the relationship between Luke and Dr. Squires, who is himself going through a bit of a breakdown, is the real heart of the story. The Wackness is about the things men do to become the men they need to be (you can replace the word men with people, but it's really nice to have a soulful, beautiful film about men and their relationships).
The Wackness is a beautiful portrait of a young man who exists in the same state as many others, disconnected from the world and from other people, and about the process by which he makes a connection and starts living his life. It's a masterpiece of time and place and mood, centred and steady and it spins with a perfect velocity through the moments it holds up for reflection and admiration. Plus it has a dope soundtrack.
10/10 stars. (I've switched to a ten star system - something about being in school).