“Dumb Money: The GameStop Story” is a sort of financial Davis versus Goliath story that just happens to be true.
It’s also pretty darned funny.
‘Dumb Money’ (IMDb)
The screenplay is based on the non-fiction book “The Antisocial Network” by Ben Mezrich. It’s set in the not-too-distant past: The winter of 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world topsy-turvy.
Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans”) stars as Keith Gill, who mixes things up a little more. He’s a financial analyst known are Roaring Kitty on YouTube and what then was twitter and whose alias on the social medium reddit I can’t print here.
Gill takes a liking to GameStop stock. People followed his lead, and became part of a GameStop (a chain of stores that sell video games in malls) phenomenon that made headlines and made Gill a multi-millionaire from a relatively small investment.
Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) was among the experts who thought GameStop would become bankrupt. But Gill, who thought the stock was undervalued, started a grassroots movement of amateur investors – many of whom used the investment app Robinhood, which you may remember – that surprised the professionals.
Director Craig Gillespie also directed the incredible “I, Tonya,” another mind-blowing true story (see if you haven’t) so it didn’t surprise me that “Dumb Money” is, well, smart. You don’t have to be a wizard in the world of finance to quickly gain at least a basic understanding of what’s going on.
I enjoyed the way the movie follows several amateur investors. The ensemble is a terrific one, with Nick Offerman as hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin. There’s not a bad performance here. Also, Dano’s resemblance to his real-life character is often jaw-dropping, and it lends an authenticity to the film.
The audience for a movie like this is fairly narrow. But open-minded moviegoers – especially those with a basic knowledge of investments – will appreciate this intelligent look at a quirky moment in history.
3 ½ stars
Rated: R for foul language and nudity.
Running time: One hour and 45 minutes.
Watch the trailer here.