From the shoe in Air or the doll in Barbie, movies tell us about the kinds of crazy behavior revealed in The Beanie Bubble. Crazy? People acting like zombies rushing towards brains when a truck rolls over and spews not bodies, but stuffed animals. Or kids refusing to cut tags on their five-dollar toy because they might sell it later for seven thousand…. Yes, it all truly fit into the Beany bubble of the 1990s, when fad-of-the-moment came as a tiny, stuffed, play figure marketed as a collectable. Writer-director Kristen Gore joins with Damien Kulash as a co-director and Zac Bissonnette as a co-writer to cover the basically true Beany Baby story involving a man and three women who spearheaded the kind of bizarre obsession seen more recently by Pokémon, strangely by pet rocks, strategically by Air Jordan shoes, and with shocking longevity by Barbies. Though economic experts can analyze these trends with the utmost of serious contemplations, movies about them benefit from a lighter touch, well recognized by Beanie Bubble creators. Wisely, they hire a cast geared for comedy rather than a university class. As the man who put the T*Y* label on all the Beanie products, Zac Galifianakis earns topbilling by mixing his Hangover wastrel style with grown up experience. But the script points to three women as more important figures, headed by comedian and Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks. Golden Globe winner Sarah Snooks from Succession and Blockers star Geraldine Viswanathan give the female trio panache. Though occasional slogs into detail threaten
to burst The Beanie Bubble it remains a mostly enjoyable cruise into societal weirdness with a touch of female empowerment.