I have to be honest. I did not think this movie was going to be very good. Stocks. GameStop. Kitty shirts. It didn’t seem like it would have very high entertainment value, especially for a particular crowd. I was happy to be wrong.
It’s about WallStreetBets, which is a subreddit where people go and chat about stock options and trading. What could be good about this when it’s supposed to be a comedy? Pass. If you feel this way, push those thoughts out of your head and ensure you see this fun version of “Wall Street” and young and new to the exchange. This movie is the most educational in explaining stocks, but I still don’t understand exactly how things work. Maybe you will and you’ll start earning.
Based on the book, “The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees,” by Ben Mezrich, the movie floats right on into six months earlier, where the real meat of the story begins.
A young man named Keith Gill (Dano), whose online name is Roaring Kitty, invested $53,000 in the brick-and-mortar shop GameStop. He works at Mass Mutual as a financier, but when he wasn’t working, he found learning about stocks and how Wall Street works intriguing. Into gaming, he loves the REAL store GameStop and, knowing that not everyone plays games online, comprehends that GameStop, as its own entity, will always stand. He was confident and calculated that his risk would be well worth his money. His friend tells him never to vote against Wall Street, but he takes a chance on his knowledge of people like himself and his followers.
He gets online and tells everyone to purchase as much or as little as they can. The ‘little guys’ start paying attention. In one day, the stock leapt from 2 to 10. GameStop never had to close during the pandemic. It is also considered an essential business because it sells certain equipment. Another reason to like it.
Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) introduces us to other characters in creative ways. He names them while we watch them decide whether to buy or not. He includes how much money they have or what they owe. College students are in the hole financially, but they purchase and hope this stock will help them climb out.
Jenny, played by America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), has personal reasons to get into the ring. Her father lost everything, even his pension when a big company bought out the store he was working for and fired him. The long game isn’t helping the working man.
While educating the masses on the stock market, people chime in with what they think of Gill, his cats and how stupid he is. Still, he goes on to tell them that GameStop is undervalued, and the stocks keep going up and up.
Footage from real news clips is shown, revealing the shock of this happening. In 2021, the little guys took down a lion, making millions, while others lost billions. The Hedge fund guys call people like Gill and his followers Dumb Money. They’re more than happy to take it when they don’t know what they’re doing or putting money into penny stocks.
The pacing is good, and the script is fair and decent. We flip back and forth between the wealthy 1% being proven wrong for a change.
Stocks used to be for everyone, but the system has been broken and it’s not for the working man anymore.
Gill tells Congress he got into stocks because, during the pandemic, he had nothing else to do. The more he learned, the more he was shocked at how little people knew about the subject.
This has FUN and touching moments between Gill and his brother Kevin, played by Pete Davidson from SNL. Trust me, you don’t have to know about Wall Street, and you don’t have to know about gaming or the internet to find “Dumb Money” a delightful watch.
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Written by: Lauren Schuker Blum, Rebecca Angelo
*Based on the book “The Antisocial Network” by Ben Mezrich
Starring: Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley and Seth Rogen
Rated: R (Drug Use|Sexual Material|Pervasive Language)
Runtime: 1h 44m
Genres: Comedy, Drama