Plot: Steve's keeping a secret from his flower-painting girlfriend, Kate Beckinsale. And that secret is that every single other person he knows is a little person. The truth comes out when his twin brother Rolfe pops in for a visit. And when Kate ends up pregnant, likely because Steve has sex in his sleep, they start to fear that the baby will also be a little person.
It's almost a travesty that this wasn't on my blog. Here, I pretend to be both a bad movie and little-person-movie aficionado, and here's this gem that I just wasn't able to get my hands on for the longest time. I'm thrilled that it lived up to expectations with an explosion of both little people and hilarious badness.
I'd like to start with the cast, mostly filled with little people. Well, no. I want to start with the title, one that I don't understand. I don't believe the word is referenced anywhere in the script, and I can't think of an idiom or other aphorism that fits with the story or characters. I must be missing something, but the rest of this project is so colossally stupid that it's also just a possibility that the title is completely meaningless.
Now, for the cast. Matthew McConaughey plays a character who makes no sense whatsoever, and I think I've gotten to a point with McConaughey where it's just too much. I mean, I enjoy those car commercials where he talks to himself as much as the next guy, but all of his roles are starting to blend together. I expected this character, who as I said makes no sense, to get AIDS and fly away in a spaceship at any second. The beautiful Kate Beckinsale plays his love interest, a woman who is an artist in at least one scene in the movie. And Patricia Arquette plays a free-spirited woman who Peter Dinklage's character is banging.
And that's it. The rest of the cast consists of little people which puts this right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Over the Rainbow (but not The Terror of Tiny Town, of course) with an impressive dwarf-to-non-dwarf ratio. Of course, that's only if you consider Gary Oldman--in a "role of the lifetime" according to a trailer--on his knees a little person. Oldman gets a cane, a back hunch that likely shifted quite a bit although I didn't pay enough attention to it, and sometimes a couch to bury his legs in, a special effect that can only be described as magical, and he brings his best Matthew McConaughey impression to the proceedings to turn in a performance that I'm sure both he and his family are proud of.
You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see a remake of Tiptoes where Daniel Day-Lewis plays a little person. You know that fucker's chopping off his legs for the part.
Seriously, why is this movie called Tiptoes? Somebody tell me.
The real little people are led by Peter Dinklage playing an ornery character who is pretending to be French. Either that or he was playing an actual Frenchman. Regardless, I had trouble figuring why the character was even in the movie. I kept waiting for his purpose to be revealed. I know that Dinklage is the biggest little star these days, but I'm rarely impressed. Here, the French accent is silly, and it's definitely not a good performance. And of course, it doesn't help that his character is completely superfluous. He doesn't work with as a foil to Oldman's Rolfe (seriously, that's his name) or as comic relief, and the subplot with Arquette and him doesn't help develop the movie's themes or anything.
Wait! David Alan Grier is in this movie, too! I forgot about his character. He gets himself a very brief sex scene with Bridget Powers of Big Money Rustlas fame. And no, you sicko, it's not anything graphic. But seriously, other than that, it's little people. It's like McConaughey is trapped in some sort of little person nightmare or something. When he and Beckinsale have their baby, and the little person doctor walks in, I nearly shit myself.
Ed Gale, who started his career playing Howard the Duck in another critically-acclaimed film and who has worked with the Coen brothers, is in this. He was also in Spaceballs and played Chucky's stunt double in one of those Child's Play movies. Debbie Lee Carrington was also in Howard the Duck (as "other ducks," I shit you not), played Valerie Vomit in the Garbage Pail Kids movie, and was an Ewok a few times. I'm most interested in seeing her as "Hot Pocket" in Bitch Slap. Oh, and she did stunts in Titanic apparently. One of my favorites--Michael J. Anderson--plays the twins' father. Did I even mention that Rolfe (Oldman) and McConaughey are twins in this? Because of course they are. Anyway, you know Anderson as the little guy in Twin Peaks and as Samson in Carnivale. Somebody with the terrific name Cherub Freed is in this, her only movie.
My favorite credit in this movie is a poor guy named Chuy Bravo (from Chelsea Handler's show) who is credited here with playing "Little Person." It's a movie filled with little people, and this is the only guy who doesn't get a name. He's "Little Person" instead. That one had to hurt Mr. Bravo.
It's hard to figure out what this movie is. At times, it feels comedic, but I think it's supposed to be a drama with some lighter moments mixed in. If it reminds me of anything, it reminds me of an after-school special, one with a pro-dwarf agenda. Unfortunately, the whole thing backfires, and it seems more like the makers of this are poking fun of little people. It's all just so silly.
Beckinsale might have delivered the line of the year for me in this movie, by the way. "So you had a circle jerk with a bunch of little people" is good enough to put a smile on my face, but when she adds a hearty "I would have loved to see that!", it's just magical.
It all moves along clumsily and builds--or more accurately, stumbles--to a what-the-hellish ending that will make you wonder what just happened. As Dinklage's character would say: "Zut alors!"