directed by Jonathan Levine
Jonathan Levine’s film about an NYC summer in 1994 possesses the perfect kind of alchemy that drums up massive amounts of nostalgia for a time when the world seemed as raw and vibrant as its music. Josh Peck is no joke as Luke, flunkie dope dealer who trades his wares for shrink sessions with a whacko doc Squires, a role Ben Kingsley relishes like a champ. Luke is hawking the doc’s daughter, Stephanie (a snarky and superb Olivia Thirlby), but she has a hard time seeing him the same way. Levine’s vision is a mixture of romance, comedy, slackerish poetry and sheer musical exuberance spilled across the backdrop of the Big Apple, which was hip hop’s epicenter in those glory days. It melts the hearts with its sincerity, like a story regaled after a few too many beers, a story that recounts a time when all seemed to make sense and the future wasn’t so bleak. I would totally watch a sequel to this treat of a film. Bravo, Mr. L.