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  • Writer's pictureTammy McKenzie

Spoiler Alert: Reviewing "Dumb Money" the Film Adaptation of the GameStop & Robinhood Fiasco with Jason McDonald



In the world of investing, reality often surpasses fiction, and when it does, you know you're in for a gripping story. One such tale is the GameStop stock saga, a modern-day David vs. Goliath narrative of retail investors challenging Wall Street, which has captivated many and inevitably found its way to the silver screen.

As part of our new recurring segment “Spoiler Alert” on The Startup Smoothie podcast, we are thrilled to partner with Jason McDonald of Nirmata - Zendesk Support as our co-host. In this episode, “Dumb Money: the Film Adaptation of the GameStop & Robinhood Fiasco" we sit down with Jason to dissect the cinematic portrayal of this aptly named contemporary financial frenzy.


Our discussion unfolds in a lively yet analytical back-and-forth, dissecting the film's strengths and weaknesses. We appreciate Paul Danos's commendable performance but feel that the film's documentary-like approach falls short of delivering the dramatic impact we hoped for. The depiction of Robinhood's founders stirs controversy, and the satire interwoven through character tones evokes a mixed response. The film's glaring omission of Elon Musk's influential tweet on GameStop is a significant point of discussion, prompting us to question the choices made in narrative focus.

As we navigate the GameStop phenomenon, we explore the ripple effects felt by other stocks such as AMC and Blackberry, and how this saga mirrors the cultural, nostalgic, and sometimes naive dynamics of retail investors. Our conversation ventures into personal investment stories, grounding the film's storyline in real-world experiences. There are potential pitfalls of hurried film adaptations, particularly those trying to capture the zeitgeist of a recent event. The portrayal of Gen Z culture and the use of actual Congressional hearing footage are scrutinized, revealing a disconnect between the film's attempt at authenticity and its overall delivery.

"The use of actual congressional hearing footage was meant to ground the film in reality, yet the over-reliance on memes and TikTok references felt more like a superficial nod to Gen Z culture than an earnest attempt at storytelling."

We go on to share personal anecdotes and reflections on our own experiences with the stock market during the GameStop surge. We consider how these experiences shape our view of the film and the broader discussion about financial literacy and market dynamics.

In essence, this episode isn't just a film review; it's a dialogue about the interplay between cinema, culture, finance, and the power of storytelling. It's an episode that will resonate with movie buffs, financial aficionados, and anyone who appreciates a good tale of underdogs and upheavals.

So, whether you're curious to see if "Dumb Money" is worth your time, or you're simply eager to relive the GameStop rollercoaster with some added insight, tune in. We promise a conversation that's as rich with analysis as it is with entertaining banter.

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