In addition to the slew of blockbusters that have taken over the multiplexes for the Independence Day holiday, the critically praised The Wackness , starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck, Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivia Thirlby is opening in limited release today (Friday) to largely enthusiastic reviews. Rafer Guzmán in the Newsday indicates the movie ""is less a story than a series of moments -- some funny, some poignant, all memorable." Comments Claudia Puig in USA Today : "The writing and filmmaking style are often poetic, and the dialogue, steeped in '90s phrases, sounds believable. ... The Wackness is both darkly funny and life-affirming, in an offbeat and offhanded way." Some critics suggest, however, that the movie was contrived primarily for the film-festival crowd and like many festival competitors is overloaded with preadult angst. Although set in New York in 1994, Jan Stuart notes in the Los Angeles Times, the movie "is ultimately less evocative of pre-Sept. 11 Manhattan than it is of post-Sept. 11 Park City, Utah, where the film had its Sundance debut." And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News concludes that the film is ultimately a disappointment. The film, he writes, "occasionally stumbles into charm but more often is just wayward and hazy."

04/07/2008