If Tiptoes had made sense, or if it could keep a consistent tone throughout, it might be worth watching. From scene to scene, and sometimes even during a scene, there is no attempt to maintain a steady flow, or to have the characters perform actions that make sense. There are random moments that go completely against how we think a character would act in any given situation, as well as random moments from other characters that serve absolutely no purpose.
The plot revolves around a couple, (Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale), who find out that they’re going to have a child. McConaughey’s character, Stephen, has neglected to mention that he comes from a family of dwarves, and when Beckinsale’s Carol finds out, she begins to worry that her child will end up a dwarf as well. Because that’s exactly how dwarfism works.
Regardless, Carol finds out about Stephen’s “dark secret” when his twin brother, a dwarf named Rolfe (Gary Oldman) shows up at her doorstep. Thus begins the characters’ attempts to deal with the issues of family dynamics, prejudice and absolutely nothing else.
I must first question why Gary Oldman was cast in the role of a dwarf. If it was so that the film could get another star, so that it could make money, then the marketing team failed. Tiptoes didn’t make much money, wasn’t heavily promoted, nor did it even get a theatrical release. If it was Oldman that wanted to be a part of it, because playing a dwarf would be fun, a challenge, or get him more credibility as an actor — well, I can’t speak for the first two, but the third assumption definitely didn’t pan out to be true.
I’ll give him this though: He definitely does disappear into the role. This is helped by the fact that watching him walk around on his knees is really funny to watch, so we don’t really care who’s doing it. There are a couple of scenes where the camera actually gives us a full body look, where CGI was used to get rid of his actual legs. It looks terrible. There’s also a scene where his character lies on a couch, and the fake legs used here also stand out way more than they should.
Continuing on with the problems the film has is the baby that ends up being birthed. (And for those wondering, yes, the baby does end up coming into this world. Spoiler alert!) There are shots of the baby’s face, but whenever the “baby” actually has to interact with the characters, it’s incredibly obvious that it isn’t a real baby. It seemed like it was just a bunch of blankets wound together tightly, because the “baby” doesn’t move at all, and is passed around from person to person seemingly without having weight.
There are also a couple of characters that serve very little purpose to the overall story. Patricia Arquette plays a drunken hippie, who gets picked up off the side of the road by Rolfe’s best friend, Peter Dinklage. (Here giving us a terrible French accent). They tag along throughout the entire movie, but are there for no reason. Dinklage spews something about being a Marxist, and that he also hates America, but once again I found myself questioning his inclusion. Eventually, their characters disappear, and then we never hear from them.
People also seem to act without reason all throughout the film. There’s one scene where Stephen ends up on the phone with Carol. He decides to end the call early, and subsequently throws his phone as far as possible. Why? To show that’s mad? We’ve already gotten that from the way he was speaking to his wife-to-be, so there is no purpose in chucking your phone. Plus, he’s definitely going to regret that action later, whether or not the film wants to address that. (It doesn’t).
I suppose I just don’t understand the purpose of this particular film. If it was trying to get me to not be prejudiced, then why would it have its characters switch back and forth on the issue themselves? If it wanted to entertain me, then it would have actually had a plot to follow, or characters to care about. And if it wanted to make sense, it could have with some consistency added into the mixture.
After seeing Tiptoes, you begin to wonder how the actors involved chose to get involved with the project. Surely they weren’t that starved for money or attention. Given the promotion (or the lack thereof), I don’t think that they got either from this movie. A challenge is just about the only thing that I can think of as to why they would take part in something like this. It’s dull, makes little sense, and gives the audience nothing to think about or take from it.