Dummy (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  21 February 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 5,710 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 68 user | 23 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

An ex-office worker becomes a ventriloquist, leading to a date with his unemployment counselor; but his quirky family and a gauche female friend may thwart his new career and love life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mirabella Pisani ...
Helen Hanft ...
Mrs. Gurkel
Theater Director
Joanne Bayes ...
Unemployed Italian (as Lou Marini Jr.)
Unemployed Frottager (as Gabor Mobea)
Unemployed Actor


Steven, nearly 30 and living with his parents, sees an old Edgar Bergen movie on TV and decides to fulfill his longtime dream of becoming a ventriloquist. His beautiful unemployment counselor Lorena finds him work, but puts out a restraining order on him when he paints a thank-you note on her door. Later, this young mother agrees to date him anyway, but finds his bickering family, and his inexperience with women, daunting to a relationship. Steven's sister Heidi is a wedding planner with a drunken ex-fiancé who keeps showing up at the door. His friend Fangora is a pseudo-punk rocker whose sex does not prevent her from giving him terrible advice about women. The wedding of a Jewish girl, who wants Klezmer music and gets something unexpected, will become a turning point in everyone's lives. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy about finding your voice before you lose your mind. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brzuchomówca  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,120 (USA) (12 September 2003)


$71,305 (USA) (3 October 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jessica Walter and Ron Leibman, who play Adrien Brody's character's parents, are married in real life. See more »


When Steven is driving Fangora home she flicks her cigarette butt out the window as he pulls over to the curb. When they are in the car talking she is not smoking but when she gets out of the car she is smoking again. See more »


Heidi: [about Michael going in jail] Serves him right. I hope you rot there, fucking loser.
Fern: Heidi! That loser was almost your husband!
Heidi: Why can't you get it into your head he's a psychopath?
Fern: I'm *sure* he is. But he's also a very successful accountant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the Fagan Family, the Cross Family, the forbidden family of Charlotte and Kendo, the Akel Family, the Sullivan Family, the Jachera Family, Howard Johnson and Tony, Amir, Rich and George, the Kingston Family, the Taylor Family, the Ziff Family, the MacCarthy Family and to all the residents and our friends in Wayne. See more »


Features You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939) See more »


Mazl Tov Dances
Performed by The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I'd say this is an entertaining comedy with heart.
3 March 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I had a premonition I was about to see a comedy with a lot of heart even before the main titles played out at a screening of "Dummy" at the American Film Market 2000 recently.

In the opening scene, Steven, who lives with his eccentric parents and sister, sits enthralled watching the flickering tv image of ventriloquist Edgar Bergan and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy. As the camera moves in on the young man, we see in his eyes the depth of his dreams and aspirations to at last make something of his humdrum life. The next day, he gives up his 9-to-5 job and announces to his dysfunctional family that he wants to be a ventriloquist. His ever-busy mother(Jessica Walter), making yet another tuna sandwich, remarks that his career choice is" nice but not very realistic" while his sister observes that with the dummy on his lap, Steven looks like a child molester.

Casting is right on the mark. Adrien Brody brings a sympathetic and likable quality to the role of Steven as he manipulates his dummy to express his own private fears and feelings to the people around him. Vera Farmiga, the love interest, is extremely engaging as his employment counselor and Illeana Douglas, the very unmarried sister, is constantly funny. Outstanding too is Milla Javovich as Steven's best friend, a punk rocker with layers of attitude. Writer and director Greg Pritikin skillfully holds down the pathos and gives his film just the right touch of humor. An entertaining movie that is worth a look.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Milla Jovovich was *beep* hillarious! Stacey618
Uhh If Fandora was supossed to portray the average punk they failed.... starburst67
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