5 min read

Dumb Money represents the COVID Era right.

Dumb Money represents the COVID Era right.

Dumb Money is Directed by Craig Gillespie. The Director of (2017) I, Tonya and written for the screen by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo from a story based on the book (2021) The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich.

It's a rag to riches to story. A man Keith Gil (played by Paul Dano) who invest in Gamestop stocks agaisnt hedgefunds who are betting for it to fail. Gil inspires other hard working people with low income to do the same and just as they start wining against these elites, problems starts to arise.

I never really knew about the GameStop short squeeze. Maybe I heard about it here and there. My friend whose a gamer and online a lot probably brought it up. I'm not really someone who understands how stocks and wall street really work. Probably why I never got involved. I almost did but with my situation my friend advised against it. When I heard about this film I kind of got annoyed because it seems like David Fincher's (2010) The Social Network has now become some sort of formula. I mean look at John Lee Hancock's (2016) The Founder. Even though I believe the film is great, you could tell they were doing The Social Network. The same thing with Danny Boyle's (2015) Steve Jobs. But what this movie seem to be riffing off of was one of my favorites, which is Adam Mckay's (2015) The Big Short. What I'm saying is that I get annoyed when I see or hear about a film like this and it's not without thinking of those original ones. Like can't someone tell these kind of stories in a new captivating way. Even one of the recent posters to this film was like a straight copy and paste of The Big Short. Although I do like the one with the angry kitty on top of Keith's head. A great representation for what the honest hard working people feel and felt inside.

The film did eventually catch my attention. Although I didn't expect much from, but surprisingly enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Now I won't say it's a classic, but it's a damn good movie. It's Timely, Hilarious, Frustrating, Heartbreaking and Entertaining.

The cast is superb Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Vincent D'Onofrio, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, America Ferrera, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, Pete Davidson, Dane DeHaan and Clancy Brown. I mean come on, that's epic. Those are legends. It reminds me of those great old movie stars from the black and white days and you stumble on a film where they're all together. I wonder if someone will ever find this film late in the future and be shocked at that cast.

One thing I enjoyed and surprised me was the chemistry between Paul Dano and Pete Davidson. I know Paul Dano comes from a lot film work and Pete Davidson mostly from Saturday Night Live. I have seen Pete Davidson act (2020) The King of Staten Island and I can say he can act, but it's just being with someone as experienced as Paul Dano I didn't know if it was gonna work, but it did and it's one of the best things in the film. I want to see more of Paul Dano and Pete Davidson together. They could've gave Dane DeHaan's part of Brad to anyone not famous, but I'm glad they didn't and busted a Christopher Nolan move giving small parts to talent like he did in (2023) Oppenheimer. Who doesn't love America Ferrera or D'Onofrio. Seeing Clancy Brown as the father was like man just let them good actors keep coming.

The film starts by showing us what story we are dealing with here. The middle class and the high class. We first get introduce to Seth Rogen's character Gabe Plotkin who lives in a Mansion by the beach. The scene is ahead at the moment when Plotkin realizes he is losing money. The film then goes to the protagonist Keith Gill who likes to run the track timed. He heads back to his home, not a mansion, his wife and his newborn baby. As a hobby he does go on YouTube and starts to talk about why he is investing in GameStop. This leads others to start following his lead.

You know one of the reasons I believe I enjoyed this film a lot is because how well it represented the COVID Era and its after effects. I made a short film in 2020 funded by my university and it got to play at the Newport Beach Film Festival last year. The story took place during the pandemic so I had my characters wearing mask. After it screened someone said "It doesn't matter that they have mask on, we don't have to explain that because we know what it means WE ALL went through it". Watching this film I didn't need much explanation I knew where it was taking place, what the characters were going through because I went through it too.

I hear America Fererra's Jennifer Campbell complain about the help she got with the stimulus check. A time I remember trying to get help myself. I know people look down on those that ask the government for help but during 2020 I needed it. I believe many who deserved it didn't get it. Kevin Gill, Keith's brother, response to Keith's criticsim of him doing Doordash saying it's not his fault he got laid off. I left my job in 2019 November. A big mistake on my part, but at time the COVID thing wasn't something being made out to panic ASAP or maybe because it wasn't taken serious. After that I continued school which eventually they told us we'd have to go home. I still remember the students cheering and me getting depressed because I liked being around people and learning in person. I felt like the only one. I couldn't get a job and well I didn't do doordash but I did do Lyft. I found out my old job closed and my old co workers got laid off. Classes were online through zoom just like many meetings in this film are. The swabbing. The college girls in this film have a scene where they have to get swabbed. The scene again with Fererra at the gas station talking to a gentlemen brings up how nice it is to see someone without a mask. All our faces were covered. One scene that hit close to home which I didn't even know because I didn't know about this story is when Keith brings up his sister. It got my attention right away. I got angry and wanted to break down. I lost my sister literally before the lockdown. I could feel Keith's pain, his loss, I wanted to hug Kevin when they visit their sisters grave and tears stream down his face. I could relate to these characters. I mean even Anthony Ramos Marcus moment when he tells his mom he could get her a mansion. These are real people, these are the people I grew up with, these people are me. That's what was surprising to me how it captured 2020 and 2021 just right. To me that's what a film is suppose to do is to connect with the audience and saying hey I know that guy or girl, that's me. I can relate.

Will Bates music score was also a highlight. Again I can go on how it seems like someone might have told Bates to do what Reznor and Ross did for The Social Network but I wont. It is a good score though, even the soundtrack in this film is great.

This film is properly balance. It isn't so serious and it isn't too far comedic where it becomes cringe. It has the right tone for anyone who just wants to have a good time for 2 hours.