Quick Movie Review: The Wackness (2008)

I feel like I heard a lot about The Wackness (or at least acclaim for it), but I can’t remember where exactly it came from. Something made me put the movie on my Netflix queue and something made me watch it yesterday, but I’m not sure what those things were. In the end, it was an alright movie that could have been about 20 minutes shorter and had one or two more rewrites with an eye towards dialogue. See, it’s set in NYC in 1994 and is about the formerly fat kid from Drake and Josh (Josh) selling weed and falling in love with his shrink/customer’s (Ben Kingsley) step-daughter. Meanwhile, his dad gets in some financial trouble and they may or may not have to move out of the city. This is one of those movies that seems more interested in creating an atmosphere than a tight story. There’s lots of interesting bits of atmosphere to be sure (like all the hip hop stuff and Method Man’s character introducing Josh to Biggie’s music via a track he himself recorded with Biggie), but it definitely had its draggy moments. But, the thing that bugged me the most was the dialogue. I get that Josh is a product of the streets or whatever, but he says “yo” way too much for my personal taste. I was only 11 in 94 and definitely not selling weed in New York City, but it felt too forced coming from him and his love interest. Slowness and dialogue aside, though, this is a very interesting movie and had I not seen my share of movies where a dude falls for a girl who doesn’t like him as much and an old guy acts young, it probably would have had more of an effect on me. It’s not a bad movie, just not one that hit me the way I think it wanted to.

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