Holy shit, why are there so many brand movies this year?
More importantly, why are so many of those movies on that list like, really, really good movies? Is it nostalgia and brand awareness? Or is it something greater. Each great one is great for different reasons. But let’s see about The Beanie Bubble, and watch it burst in real time.
I would burst with excitement if I got to look so stylish.
This movie is so specifically about the characters, that I need to describe the plot through their lens.
We have Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis), CEO of this TY Warner company, who made toys, and would eventually make beanie babies, and make a shit ton of money!
But then we have the women who helped him get there.
Robbie (Elizabeth Banks), one of Ty’s girlfriends, who helped him get sales on other products, increasing the wealth of his company, and helping expand it overseas.
Sheila (Sarah Snook), a later girlfriend and single mother, whose kids and her helped come up with backstories and names for very popular beanie babies at the start.
And Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan), an hourly employee who helped connect their company to the internet, the first corporation to do so with their product, and track ebay sales, and figure out how to work with the secondary market, instead of against it.
The women who made the Beanie Babies take off, and the man, who treated them like shit along the way.
“What the fuck is the internet?”
Unfortunately for my list of brands above, The Beanie Bubble is the only one I didn’t feel deserved a 3 or 4! Just an okay 2. And that is a shame, because the story of how Beanie Babies got popular, got super popular, and then became worthless, is an interesting one. A nice microcosm of society and wealth in that story, on artificial supply and demand, and on how you can get too much of a good thing (one that is ruined by greed).
Its just the story is told sloppily, and I hate when it really takes to get to the point. The goal of the movie is to talk about these three women and hype them up, so we get three different stories. And it keeps transferring between the stories. But we got things taking places in the 80’s, and the 90’s. Despite the fact that this movie has a large YEAR shown on the screen and shows it changing when we switch, it still isn’t inherently helpful. Generally, one would see the year and assume its just going forward in time, not backwards, and forward, by a decade, back and forth.
Sure, we can see that Ty is being a sleazeball, but he isn’t the biggest sleazeball in all three stories until around the same time in the movie. So we get an avalanche of sleaze, with a confusing time span because of it. I wouldn’t say this is the sort of movie that needs to be told chronologically, but it would have probably been better.
For example, Ty continually gets mad about Great Britain and sales at many points throughout the film, but we don’t know why in particular, until the end of Banks’ plotline. And that is not the sort of thing that needed to be a “ah ha!” moment in the story. I don’t feel like the movie was better by keeping that a secret for so long, it didn’t have to keep hyping her ending of the storyline for a payoff.
I do think Galifianakis was unrecognizable on the promotions for this film. Something was done with his face, a fake nose? I am not sure. But you can tell it in the voice. I loved in particular Viswanathan’s plot in this movie. It is the easiest to follow, the easiest to see why she was screwed over, and the only one who has her own Wikipedia page to see what she did after the fact. Unfortunately, the other two involve relationships, and a lot of time is spent focusing on that aspect, with less on the actual company commitments, it just makes him feel more like a bad boyfriend than the scummy businessman he happens to also be.