During the COVID-19 pandemic, between 2020 and 2021, GameStop went through a stock market boom that turned the tables on Wall Street and the 1% of billionaires who controlled it.
Keith Gill, an average Joe from Massachusetts, grew immense popularity on his Youtube channel as “Roaring Kitty”, where he posted videos discussing his opinions on the stock market and progression reports on his GameStop stock, but always making sure to say his actions were not recommendations.
GameStop, a company that sells new and used video games and computer supplies, experienced a severe stock decline leading up to the pandemic due to struggles competing with other companies in their industry and people short-selling their shares. According to NerdWallet, “Short selling is when a trader borrows shares and sells them in the hope that the price will fall after, so they can buy them back for cheaper.”
However, thanks to Keith Gill and everyday people just like him, GameStop’s luck quickly turned around.
Regal’s Monday Mystery Movie gives audiences a chance to see an unreleased film for only $5 a ticket. “Dumb Money” was shown as the Sept. 18 mystery movie.
Based on a true story, “Dumb Money” stars Paul Dano as Keith Gill, Shailene Woodley as Caroline Gill and Seth Rogan as Gabe Plotkin. The film follows Keith (Dano) as he invests his life savings into the plummeting stock of GameStop.
The film kicks off when Keith makes a Reddit post under the subreddit, “r/wallstreetbets” showing his screenshot of his $53,000 investment into GameStop. In addition, Keith made a YouTube video claiming the stock was undervalued and laid out his reasoning as to why this was a stock to invest in.
The more people that saw his content, the more people that bought GameStop stock and the more valuable the stock became, until finally it took Keith’s $53,000 and turned it into over $30 million.
Right off the bat, we’re introduced to a stellar cast and a fun soundtrack. Watching Paul Dano run around a track while Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song, “WAP” played in the background was not something I expected, but was something I greatly enjoyed.
Throughout the film, we meet an abundance of A-List actors, including America Ferrera, Pete Davidson, Nick Offerman, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Ramos. The cast in this movie is unmatched. I felt like I was always pointing to an actor excitedly recognizing them from one thing or another.
Paul Dano’s performance as Keith Gill was beyond exceptional. He didn’t just portray Keith, he was Keith. Every scene felt real, all dialogue was delivered to perfection and you could feel his passion through the screen.
In “Dumb Money”, Pete Davidson and Paul Dano play brothers Keven and Keith, respectively. This unlikely pairing had me skeptical at first, but their chemistry on screen was undeniable. They bickered and bonded, and there was a palpable presence of brotherly love all throughout the film.
As for Pete Davidson, every time he appeared on the screen the audience was guaranteed to burst out laughing. His short quips, like calling Ken Griffin (Offerman) a “Disney channel villain”, added so much dimension to his character, and it was clear from audience reactions alone that his humor hit every time.
Davidson seems to play the same character in every film he’s in — a pothead who can’t get his life together — but he plays the character so well and brings such a personal touch to his role that you can’t help but love him.
The soundtrack featured familiar favorites like Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE”, Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Everytime a song came on, it seemed like the audience was dancing in their seats — and who could blame them?
As someone with absolutely no knowledge of the stock market and its inner workings, it took some time for me to develop an understanding of what was so significant about Keith Gill and his actions and why big time Wall Street executives like Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman) and Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogan) were so bent out of shape over it.
However, “Dumb Money” provided information in such a natural and unforced way that even I, a Wall Street novice, was learning about the stock market and becoming more and more knowledgeable about the film’s subject matter.
The educational aspect was not overwhelming, in fact, it was almost undetectable. If you’re like me and know nothing about stocks, don’t worry, your lack of knowledge will not get in the way of enjoying this incredible comedy/drama.
The entirety of the film takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning masks, essential workers and zoom calls are very prevalent throughout the movie. As someone who usually turns away from films that try to pull in current events, “Dumb Money” wove in themes of the pandemic so effortlessly that it didn’t seem like a try-hard attempt to be relevant, but instead came across as a very real representation of a unique period in our lives.
The storyline in “Dumb Money” follows multiple characters as they invest in GameStop and follow Roaring Kitty’s content.
Jennifer Campbell (America Ferrera) is a nurse and single mom of two, and she is the first person other than Keith that we see invest her savings into GameStop. America Ferrera is a powerhouse in every role she plays, and her character in “Dumb Money” was no exception.
Since the movie is based on real current events, real news footage, TikTok videos and Reddit posts are all used to further the storyline and show just how impactful Roaring Kitty’s stock market content became.
According to IMDB, “Dumb Money” is rated R for “pervasive language, sexual material, and drug use.”
Although the storyline of “Dumb Money” would not have traditionally interested me, thanks to Monday Mystery Movie, I was able to watch an incredibly well made and entertaining film that has quickly joined my list of top favorite movies.
“Dumb Money” is effortlessly funny, thrilling, fascinating and insanely real. It’s a movie you can’t help but love with characters you can’t help but root for. It does everything right — the casting, the screenplay, the soundtrack and the editing all come together to create an unforgettable film.
“Dumb Money” releases Sept. 22 in theaters, and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.