I love Matthew Bright! I really love Kate Beckinsale! I’ll even cop to liking Matthew McConaughey and admit I’m warming towards Gary Oldman (I just feel he “over-acts”…sue me). However any amount of affection I have for the people involved in “Tiptoes” couldn’t make me like this ridiculous, sloppy and poorly written film.
Oldman plays a dwarf named Rolfe who’s had a tough go at life. Yes, he plays a dwarf and a damned convincing one too I must admit. His performance is subtle and nuanced and you actually forget he’s Gary Oldman…on his knees. Aside from Oldman, the only engaging character in “Tiptoes” is an angry, Marxist dwarf named Maurice who’s well played by Peter Dinklage. He even manages to score with the sleazy Lucy, played by Arquette, who resurrects her Alabama Worley character from “True Romance.” However, after them, it’s all downhill.
A buffed McConaughey plays Rolfe’s brother, Steven, who is the only “normal sized” person in the family. Yet Steven doesn’t mind and refuses to look down upon his smaller family members. Steven also has an incredibly hot girlfriend named Carol (Beckinsale) who comes equipped with sexy tattoo’s on the small of her back and a hefty sexual appetite. But wait! Steven has a little secret. He hasn’t told Carol his family is all dwarves.
Apparently it’s never been an issue until Carol becomes pregnant then Steven is forced to not only tell her that his family is all dwarves, but that their unborn child has a better than good chance of being a “little person” too. If the child is a dwarf, it means alot of physical pain for the child as it grows into adulthood. To which Carol replies in an afterschool special-like tone, “You mean little people hurt?”
Ouch…that line hurts. Yet it’s only a small example of all the hokey, lame dialogue present in this stinker.
Look, I won’t rant on about how downright goofy this film becomes. I think you get the point after hearing the premise and have a little taste of the dialogue. I will say that I just cannot fathom what drew this cast to this film. I like and respect Bright as a somewhat brilliant and eccentric director, and I can’t fault him for this film. But there’s so many little things wrong here (for once, pun not intended) that I just can’t see how no one caught them. Bright is no rookie and Oldman is notoriously a pain in the a*s. That being said, how could no one realize that Carol and Steven’s baby is clearly a two-by-four in a blue blanket!? Oops, I gave away the child’s sex.
“Tiptoes” is just baffling in it’s lameness. I think it was trying to present a realistic portrayal of how much pain dwarves feel both physically and socially. Heck, I could’ve stayed on board for that. But it’s not about that and if it is, it’s much too on the nose.
When I saw Bright had pulled together this cast, I thought his career would go onto the next level. However, this is somehow a step back from Bright’s schlocky last film, “Ted Bundy.” I think that’s because “Tiptoes” tries to be sweet and honest whereas “Ted Bundy” kind of reveled in it’s B-movie status. Where does this leave Bright? I have a feeling he’ll be back with a vengeance.