Dumb Money, based on the book, “The Antisocial Network” dramatizes the GameStop saga of 2020/2021, where r/WallStreetBets users, a group of retail investors, or “dumb money”, drive the price of the stock up to an excessive amount, causing a Wall Street meltdown. The film follows three distinct points of view – Keith Gill (Paul Dano), aka Roaring Kitty, aka Deep Fucking Value, a Redditor and live streamer, a gaggle of retail investors including a nurse (America Ferrera), and a GameStop employee (Anthony Ramos), then hedge fund on Wall Street, Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen), and Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman).
Plotkin shorts GameStop stock, which is betting that the company will fold, and when it does, he’ll make an outrageous amount of money. Gill studies GameStop stock and believes it has value, leading him to invest all his savings, betting the stock will go up. When Gill lays out his thesis on Reddit and in videos, other retail investors also buy stock on an app called Robin Hood, which gives the “little guy” a chance to invest for free. When the stock soars in price, Wall Street institutions lose billions of dollars, leading to Robin Hood turning off the buy button. Retail investors are outraged when this happens. The event ultimately results in Gill, Plotkin, Griffin, and one of Robin Hood’s founders, Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan), being called to testify before the US Congress to determine if any laws were broken.
The film is a typical David versus Goliath story, pitting the retail investors against Wall Street. I have watched every documentary and read books about the GameStop situation, so the story was not new to me. The film was entertaining, using memes, comments, and posts from the unhinged WallStreetBets subreddit. Since I was well aware of the events, I knew viewpoints would be lacking, as it focused mainly on Gill. Gill was the best choice because he provided much momentum in the situation.
The cast for this film was incredibly stacked, mostly with comedic actors, all of whom I like except Pete Davidson. Dano did a fantastic job emulating Keith Gill, and he had obviously watched all the Roaring Kitty videos. Dano is the main reason I saw the film because he’s good in everything. He was the main standout for me.
While I generally liked this film, some things made it borderline annoying. There was an excessive number of repetitive shots of the large cast of characters saying variations of ‘holy f-ck’ over and over again. I know that’s how people talk, as I sometimes use that phrase in my day-to-day life, but, well, holy f-ck, it was annoying. Those shots probably consisted of at least ten minutes of the total runtime. Then, there’s Pete Davidson. I have no idea why that guy is allowed to eat on camera. He already caught a lot of flack for his disgusting Taco Bell ads, and Dumb Money was ten times worse. Eating his DoorDash customers’ food and chewing with his mouth open while taking drinks from cokes was nauseating. I probably sound like Miss Manners, but it was so gross.
Dumb Money was an interesting, somewhat narrow rollick through the GameStop saga from a few different viewpoints. It’s entertaining, albeit slightly repetitive when it comes to the dialogue. The strong cast and Dano’s performance make the film worth watching.
Where to Watch
I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.