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72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award-«-winner Adrien Brody stars in this delightful romantic comedy as a lovable loser who finds his inner voice by becoming a ventriloquist. Steven Schoichet (Brody) is in a rut - he lives at home with his crazed parents and weird sister Heidi (

Oscar®-winner Adrien Brody has a nifty role in Dummy as a shy loser whose life is transformed by... ventriloquism. Living with his parents and his caustic sister (Illeana Douglas in good form), tongue-tied Steven can't hold a conversation to save his life--until he sits a wooden dummy on his knee. Others find this kind of creepy, but Steven parlays his newfound voice into a date with his pretty lady at the unemployment office (she's played by Vera Farmiga, from 15 Minutes, a soulful actress destined for big things). Writer-director Greg Pritikin doesn't oversell this modest premise, instead nicely filling in the corners with sly comedy and character bits. Milla Jovovich plays Steven's punk-rock buddy, and Jessica Walter and Ron Leibman are his parents--it's a surprisingly strong cast for an indie effort. Dummy won a release when Brody got the Oscar for The Pianist, but this is a worthy and entertaining picture all on its own. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Walter
  • Directors: Greg Pritikin
  • Writers: Greg Pritikin
  • Producers: Bob Fagan, Jellybean Benítez, Jose Gilberto Molinari-Rosaly, Richard Temtchine, Valerie Romer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00015HWX2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,085 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dummy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Kennison VINE VOICE on February 24, 2004
Format: DVD
Dummy is a charming little movie about a quiet loser played by Adrien Brody who dreams of being a ventriloquist.
The story revolves around Steven's (Brody) life, his relationships, his family, his future and his hilarious friend FANGORA (Milla Jovovich).
The movie is off the beaten path, unique, subtle, quiet and a throw back to those simple little movies from the 80s that weren't about a whole lot, but were just enjoyable. And I assure you, after watching DUMMY, you WILL NOT forget it.
You will talk about it with your friends and YOU WILL LAUGH!!
The movie is gifted with memorable and rich characters. Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Walter & Ron Leibman are a big part of this, but the most memorable, hilarious and unforgettable role belongs to MILLA JOVOVICH.
Milla plays an ill-tempered punk rock chick with a heart of gold and a mouth like a sailor. Milla had me in stitches and I believe that a lot of her acting was improvised. She was into this character and EARNS SOME SERIOUS BROWNIE POINTS for future more meatier roles. She steals the show.
What was already a pretty good movie anyway, was made an exceptional movie by a HOMERUN performance by an actress that is getting better, better and better. This girl has MONGO GUTS, and it shows.
Check out DUMMY. If you like to laugh. You won't go wrong.
I normally reserve 5 stars for classics, but this barely recognized little movie deserves 5 stars, for what it is, what it accomplished and for making me laugh where hundreds of more commercial comedies failed miserably.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on April 3, 2004
Format: DVD
Is there anything in this world creepier than a ventriloquist's dummy? Rod Serling apparently didn't think so when he turned one into a raving psychopath in a memorable episode of "The Twilight Zone." In "Dummy," the delightfully quirky comedy by writer/director Greg Pritikin, the dummy turns out to be just about the least creepy character in the film - and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Adrien Brody, in a film made prior to (but released after) his Oscar-winning triumph in "The Pianist," stars as Steven Schoichet, a mild-mannered, socially backward man in his late 20's who still lives at home with his parents and his equally dysfunctional sister. One day, Steven decides to purchase a ventriloquist's dummy, a move that finally gives him the courage to break out of his shell and pursue the woman of his dreams.
Pritikin has come up with an extraordinary ensemble cast that includes, in addition to Brody, Illeana Douglas, as Steven's lovelorn, perpetually frustrated sister; Milla Jovovich, as Steven's foulmouthed wannabe punk rock star friend and companion; Jessica Walter as Steven's off-the-wall mother who figures she can keep her son happy if she perpetually feeds him sandwiches; and Ron Leibman as Steven's father who just wants to spend his time putting together model ships and who can't understand how he's ended up with two children so obviously devoid of purpose and direction in life. Vera Farmiga is charming and winning as the unemployment counselor - perhaps the one "uncertifiable" character in the film - who opens her heart to both Steven and his dummy companion.
Pritikin has taken some very simple material and woven it into a many-splendored tapestry, hitting just the right tone all the way through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2006
Format: DVD
"Dummy" is one of the weirdest, most heartwarming indie films that most moviegoers have never seen. Unless they are rabid Adrian Brody fans.

That's unfortunate, because this wild, slightly surreal film is enormous fun. It starts off with a quirky family, like a suburban Wes Anderson story, but slowly becomes something more heartwarming as the hero learns to follow his bliss. It's weird enough to be cool, but sweet enough to give you the warm fuzzies.

Steven Schoichet (Adrian Brody) is a suburban Dilbert. His job is a dead end, and he's still living with his battleship-building dad, his sweetly oblivious mom and his embittered sister Heidi (Illeana Douglas). On impulse, he decides to buy a ventriloquist's dummy and learns how to use it. This, he decides, is his new job.

Making things more complex is the fact that he is falling in love with his unemployment counsellor (Vera Farmiga). Punk-rocker Fangora (Milla Jovovich) decides to help Steven win her over, despite his weird family. But her advice only causes more problems, and soon Steven has to learn that the real him is the most attractive. Will the dummy help Steven find love, or will he lapse back into his dreary, passionless life?

It's definitely a variation on a typical movie plot: Boy meets dummy. Dummy helps boy meet girl. Boy loses girl. Dummy helps boy pluck up the courage to get girl back. Yup, this is not your typical movie, since the hero's sidekick is a wooden doll.

But while that's the surface of it, the real plot of "Dummy" is about following your bliss, whether it's your soulmate, a wooden dummy, a career or your art. In other words, cast off your "realistic" life if it doesn't make you happy, and just follow what you secretly long to do.
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