This film really flew under the radar due to The Pianist coming out shortly after this and Adrien Brody became a huge star. It (like many of the films on this list) was recommended to me by my high school film teacher. He had randomly rented it at the video store and loved it. I think Milla Jovovich had a huge factor in his love but regardless I’m glad he recommended it because it really hit me in a good place.
Unlike when I saw Playing Mona Lisa, this film I immediately wanted to share with everyone. Adrien Brody plays a very socially awkward man who’s only friend is the foul-mouthed wanna-be punk rocker Fangora. Meanwhile his parents are bizarre and his sister Heidi is mean spirited.
Like most indie films Steven’s random decision (to become a ventriloquist) causes a major change in everyone’s lives. Steven develops a second personality in his dummy but unlike films like Magic. He doesn’t become a psychopath, it just allows him to say the things he wouldn’t have the confidence to say otherwise.
The theme song “Years” is such a beautiful song that I could almost argue that it’s the biggest reason I love the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the entire film is charming, quirky and funny but that song sums up the message of the movie. The song kicks off with “You don’t get those years back/The times you wasted sleeping late”. That is basically the entire point of the movie throughout it Steven keeps saying he’s following his bliss.
Life is short, follow your dreams. Steven has always loved puppeteering but was too afraid to learn. Finally he’s inspired one night to quit his job and follow that dream. Through it he helps his sister’s company, his friend’s band and finds love, as well as a moderately successful puppeteering job.
It’s a typical message but an important one none the less and while many have shared this message, Dummy does it in just the right way.