the wackness: on the passage of time and scary relationships

I've heard a few people wonder about the validity of nostalgia for the mid-1990s. It doesn't seem all that long ago. I was in high school. I'm not so much older than that now, am I? In reality, 1994 (when The Wackness takes place) was a full fourteen years ago. I've long since figured out that as I get older, time will pass at an increasingly freakish rate. Seriously. Think about this: September 11, 2001 was almost 7 years ago. There are tee-ball players and cookie-selling Girl Scouts (ok, Brownies) who weren't even around when the towers fell.

Right. Enough with the random rambling.

The Wackness is a passable movie with a few really sweet spots. When it wasn't busy relying on "remember when" moments (remember Forrest Gump? remember Giuliani? remember when we didn't all have cell phones?), it reminded me what it really felt like to be a teenager in (puppy) love for the first time. The film very effectively recalls the alternating feelings of head-spinning exhilaration, and terror of rejection.

I suppose it was more powerful for me, as I'm in a new relationship at the moment. Like the kids in the movie, I've got all these crazy feelings swirling around... crippling fear, blinding hope, constant curiosity, delightful discovery... you get the picture. And The Wackness does a great job of playing on those feelings, contrasting the dead marriage of Ben Kingsley and Famke Janssen with the heady infatuation of Josh Peck and Olivia Thirlby. I've been in both those situations, and I've experienced that whole range of feelings: depressing lows and dizzying highs. Frankly, thinking about it makes me want to take a nap.

Here's hoping I wake up somewhere in the middle.
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5 Response to "the wackness: on the passage of time and scary relationships"

  1. David Bishop says:
    July 14, 2008 at 10:02 PM

    Yet, another of my comments that has little to do with the movie.

    I heard the secret to feeling young is to keep company with people who are older than you. It's so weird for me to think people actually went to high school in the 90's. I always thought that was something that just happened on TV. High school started with the new millenium for me.

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 15, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Ha, ha. Brat.

  3. Daniel says:
    July 15, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    I'm pretty much with you on everything here, but I admit that I didn't quite connect with the relationship bits as much as you do.

    It's a good thing, in a sense, that people's life experiences shape their reactions to movies.

  4. Shannon the Movie Moxie says:
    July 16, 2008 at 12:56 AM

    I have to admit my reaction to nostalgia of the 90's felt like getting old! Although after seeing this most of the nostalgia was in the music for me.

    It was a pretty solid film, but I found the characters a little inaccessable, and was surprized and not overly convinced at the idea of a dealer being a social outsider.

  5. Nayana Anthony says:
    July 16, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    You guys are right about the inaccessibility of the characters. Actually, as I said, I only found the movie passable. But I guess just because of where I am right now, relationship-wise, that topic tends to pierce me pretty deep.

    And, Shannon-- GREAT insight about the dealer's social status. I also definitely had a hard time with that. It would have been the opposite in my school. I guess I also had a problem with the fact that he went about his business and didn't get harassed by cops until he was actually standing in public with a joint. That "ices" cart looked more than a bit suspicious, if you ask me.

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