Tiptoes (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Here's a bit of a puzzler for you. Imagine a glitzy, A-list romantic comedy from the Hollywood factory. Matthew McConaughey plays the lead of course. Opposite him will be one of the following:

  • Reese Witherspoon

  • Kate Beckinsale

  • J-Lo

  • Kate Hudson

In this case, the co-star is Beckinsale.

Now suppose that the cast is rounded out by Patricia Arquette and the dependable veteran character actor Gary Oldman. The film might be OK, or it might suck mightily, but surely you would have heard of it, right?


This movie was so bad that the investors took it away from the director the minute they saw it, and hired somebody else to try to salvage a final cut. When they looked at that result, they abandoned all hope.

What's wrong with it? The short answer is that it is an ABC Afterschool Special on Dwarfism.

You see, McConaughey's brother and parents are little people, and he has not informed Beckinsale of this fact. When Beckinsale gets pregnant, and finds about Matt's family, she fears that the baby may be ... um ... really short! Possibly even shorter than Christian Slater.

At this point, we are treated to about an hour's worth of dialogue in one of two formats:

  • Various people plead for tolerance from Beckinsale with well-meaning but maudlin and condescending comments about little people. You'll get the general idea if you imagine all the speeches that Gandalf gave to Frodo about how the size of a man is not measured by the length of his legs, but by the length of his dick ... oh ... I mean the size of his heart. Or something. This dialogue is made all the more embarrassing because it is just so sincere.

  • Beckinsale and McConaughey get everything out in the open and discuss the genuine physical and social problems associated with dwarfism - "you know, little people shit", as one character points out. Instead of using the Gandalf method here, they use the PSA dialogue technique. "Say, Babs, did you know dwarves are 93% more likely to be the victims of earthquakes than people of average height?" "Why, no Hank, I didn't. That's great info. Are there any other Fun Facts about dwarves that I should know?"

I mentioned earlier that Gary Oldman was in this movie. How does he fit in? He plays one of the little people. And he is also McConaughey's fraternal twin brother.

You read that right.

All of the dwarf roles are played by real dwarves, except Oldman, who walks around on his knees like Jose Ferrer playing Toulouse Lautrec, absent the absinthe. The extremely talented Peter Dinklage is on hand to play the other um ... large small role, but Dinklage is apparently the only actor under 4'6" who has any talent, so the 5'10" Oldman had to be recruited for the most significant supporting role.

The Oldman charade doesn't really work. Oldman is a terrific actor, and gives it some moments, but the scenes with his legs just out of the picture are cropped uncomfortably, and his arms are just way too long. Oh, yeah, Oldman is also more than a decade older than his "twin"  McConaughey, and looks every bit of it and more.

Anyway, Beckinsale not only gets convinced that little people are cool dudes, but she gets so convinced that she dumps McConaughey and falls for Oldman!


None, but Patricia Arquette shows almost her entire bum in a mini-skirt and mini-panties.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic

I'm not sure I want to take this review any farther.

It doesn't surprise me that the investors took this from the director and then shelved it altogether. What does surprise me is that anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place.

As the Cat in the Hat said when he found out he was making lewd references about the kid's mom  ... "Awkward".

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • No theatrical release.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

I don't know how to score this. There is really nothing to compare it to. I guess it is a low C- as an offbeat romantic comedy, but you could argue for a score as low as an E, and I would have no rebuttal. I know I felt uncomfortable watching it.

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