Tween Star Shines in The Wackness

Nickelodeon favorite delivers strong performance in dark comedy
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2008 11:53 AM CDT
In this image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Mary-Kate Olsen, left, and Ben Kingsley are shown in a scene from "The Wackness."    (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Classics, JoJo Whilden)
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(Newser) – Ex-Nickelodeon star Josh Peck shines in The Wackness, a dark comedy set in 1994 Manhattan. Jonathan Levine's coming-of-age film is “both darkly funny and life-affirming, in an offbeat and offhanded way,” writes Claudia Puig of USA Today. Peck as Luke, who’s selling pot out of an Italian ice cart, “shows you the sweet, virginal kid hiding inside the outlaw poseur,” writes Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly.

As Luke’s shrink and the stepfather of his crush, Sir Ben Kingsley “gets most of the good lines and even gets to make out in a phone booth with Mary-Kate Olsen,” writes Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. The winner of the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival “is one of the better coming-of-age films to hit theaters in a while,” Puig writes.