6.8/10
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67 user 22 critic

Dummy (2002)

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

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brzuchomówca  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,120, 14 September 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$71,305, 5 October 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ventriloquist teacher in the classroom scene (Alan Semok) designed and built the film's title character and also played teacher in real life as Adrien Brody's personal trainer, teaching Brody ventriloquism and puppet manipulation in a three week crash course during preproduction. See more »

Goofs

When Steven is driving around, the car is clearly in park. See more »

Quotes

Heidi: Because every klezmer band in town is booked and I desperately need a band. But if I hire you, you have to be willing to "hora". Is that a problem?
Fannie: Oh man, at this point I'd fuck anyone.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All puppetry and ventriloquism performed live by Adrien Brody. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Metzinka
(Also known as "Mezinka")
Traditional
Arranged by Paul Wallfisch
Performed by Milla Jovovich
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I'd say this is an entertaining comedy with heart.
3 March 2002 | by 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.


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