Is The Wackness Wack?

Man, I was really looking forward to The Wackness for all of the obvious reasons. Broadly, I’d say the movie was a disappointment, though not so disappointing that I wouldn’t see it again. I will say that — like Mongol — the movie struck a blow for Asian American masculinity, though not necessarily in the best way.

This could have been the greatest movie of this young century. It was not. I won’t go so far as to say it was bad, as I was definitely entertained. It was racier than I had anticipated, and I’m a prude. Ben Kingsley was entertaining, and Josh Peck, formerly of Drake and Josh, did a solid if unremarkable job. Portraying a downbeat sex-obsessed stoner is not the best way to display one’s dazzling range. Famke Janssen was wasted, which is a crime. Olivia Thirlby was certainly very convincing as a world-weary, sexually experienced teen — but this was not a film that was kind to its women. Which I suppose is fair enough: it was about the trials and tribulations of Luke Shapiro. That’s the problem, however: Luke doesn’t have that much going on upstairs, and Thirlby’s character had more potential.

I won’t say that Mary-Kate was a highlight, but she was pretty good. I had an exchange re: Mary-Kate in The Wackness with a friend recently.

anything else fun while you’re reihaning here this weekend?

I have no interesting plans. I’m going to a few parties tonight in service to the concept of a small crush. I will try to see a matinĂ©e of The Wackness tomorrow. I hope you and Joe Z. keep it real. But the truth is that you couldn’t not keep it real if you tried.

the servicing crush and wackness sentences were so close together, that now i am just picturing you chasing around MK from one barbecue to the next. just admit it. she’s the one for you.

Who is MK? Martin (Luther) King? America’s been sweating that cat since “I Have A Dream.”

Mary Kate and Martin King. So much in common, so many dreams. One to be waifish, the other to break down racial barriers. Now that’s a venn diagram I’d like to see.

This dialogue is, I regret to report, funnier than The Wackness, which is a pretty good reason to steer clear. That said, it was nice to see Method Man method acting (as it always is). And it was nice to see Aaron Yoo playing the urban equivalent of the jock foil, an insouciant, ultra-rich Asian American lothario who makes two brief appearances and at one point asks Thirlby’s character to “doll your s__t up, yo.” I’m about 100 percent sure I never said anything like that. At the same time, I regularly wore moon boots and an inflatable space suit to school, and I’d occasionally wear camouflage and a conical hat. I wish I were joking. I’ve been very nostalgic lately, and I’m kind of wondering whatever happened to my conical hat.

Which is why, yes, I will probably see it at least three times. But if I jumped off a cliff, would you do the same? Of course not. In fact, if I jumped off a cliff and fell into a gorgeous vista complete with caramel lakes and butterscotch mountains, I’m guessing you still wouldn’t jump off a cliff. Because I’m mad!

I did really like the Stephanie (Thirlby’s character) line about “the dopeness” vs. “the wackness.” I strive to always see “the dopeness,” which is why I wear dope-colored lenses.