“Dumb Money,” Craig Gillespie’s movie based on Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction book “The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees,” is not only a retelling of how internet vigilantes used meme stock to spook Wall Street in 2021; it’s a Massachusetts-palooza on the big screen.
Now in theaters, the movie is set in Brockton, where Keith Gill (played by Paul Dano) grew up. Gill was a MassMutual employee by day who moonlighted as a YouTube persona/stock market expert known as Roaring Kitty and gained notoriety in 2021 when he led a virtual army of small investors in a battle against Wall Street.
But before he grabbed the attention of the world outside his basement by investing roughly $50,000 of his family’s savings in GameStop, Gill was a star runner at Brockton High School and later Stonehill College in Easton. In the film, Dano is seen sporting a Stonehill sweat shirt; Pete Davidson, who plays his brother, Kevin, rocks an oversize Celtics windbreaker.
“The Gill name is everywhere in our locker room and record board,” Brockton High track and field coach John Fidalgo told Brockton’s The Enterprise in January 2021.
Gill isn’t the only local tie to “Dumb Money”: Mezrich graduated from Harvard in 1991. In 2009, he wrote “The Accidental Billionaires,” which inspired the 2010 movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the origins of Facebook, “The Social Network.”
“Dumb Money” cowriter Lauren Schuker Blum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who also attended Harvard. And Seth Rogen’s character Gabe Plotkin — the real-life head of investment management firm Melvin Capital, which bet lavishly on GameStop’s demise — is a New Englander, born in Portland, Maine.
But for all its local connections, the film was largely shot in New Jersey. And as WBUR points out, the NJ Transit train that rumbles by in the beginning simply doesn’t pass for the MBTA because, well, “it’s working.”