Set in New York 1994 it is a story about a troubled drug dealer Luke Shapiro(played excellently by Josh Peck) who has struck a deal with his therapist Dr.Squires(Ben Kingsley in one of his best performances in many years) in which he will trade him weed in exchange for sessions. Along the way he falls for Dr.Squires' step-daughter Stephanie(played by the extremely talented Olivia Thirlby).
What makes this movie so great is it's focus on the characters. No character is perfect. Each has a set of his or her own flaws. Each character is written well and not just a simple stereotype. Each actor feels like they were meant for the role they were given. Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck create some of the best scenes in movie history. Olivia Thirlby has demonstrated range from JUNO to SNOW ANGELS to this. She took what could have been a one-dimensional character into something magnificent. She is a great actress who I hope to keep on seeing in the future.
It also featured a good selection of songs from 1994 that help the flow of this movie.
I have not cried at a movie in years. But I cried during this. It is a beautiful coming of age tale that quite a few people can relate to. Johnathan Levine, who directed this masterpiece, has a bright future ahead of him. He is talented and and makes this movie sincere. This movie is a well-written piece of cinematic heaven. I hope it can find it's audience when it is released to theaters.
Also I hope they release an extended version or at least the deleted scenes with the DVD as the director told the audience that there was about 40 minutes of cut out from the finished product.