It’s 2023, and the newest movie release in America is a “based on a true story” biopic retelling events from 2021. That may sound like the plot of a farce or parody, but it’s true. Dumb Money is the story of the stock market short squeeze that saw regular people banding together in online communities like YouTube and Reddit, buying stocks, and inflating the value of shares of video game retailer GameStop to the point where it started hurting the pocketbooks of Wall Street elites, causing them to react in potentially legally dubious ways.

Yes, this all happened fewer than 1,000 days ago.

Dumb Money is listed as a comedy-drama on both IMDb and Wikipedia. The film could have benefitted from being more the latter and less the former. The jokes don’t land in this movie, and Dumb Money is at its best when it’s telling the heartfelt story of underdogs trying to get their portion of the Wall Street pie. It suffers, however, when that story is interrupted with “jokes.” The “jokes” in the case of Dumb Money are adults and children swearing, doing funny dances, and flipping the middle finger. That’s really the extent of the humor.

Where the film succeeds is in the genuine performances of lead actors Paul Dano and Shailene Woodley and their quest to defend themselves against powerful forces happy to pull every governmental string available to them to stop the “little guy” from getting a leg up. With support from on-screen family members Pete Davidson, Clancy Brown, and Kate Burton, they create an emotional center point that gives Dumb Money’s more dramatic moments the grounding it needs to succeed.

The all-star cast features well-known performers who all stop in for a cup of coffee but don’t mingle. Seth Rogen, Sebastian Stan, America Ferrera, Vincent D’Onofrio, Anthony Ramos, and Nick Offerman put in a day’s work to forward the story, but that’s about it. Their characters are largely siloed off from one another, occasionally communicating via phone or video chat but mostly lacking genuine interaction, a perfect metaphor for the era it depicts.

Which brings up another awkward topic. The film heavily features the COVID-19 pandemic, a national event still fresh in the audience’s minds. It’s unclear if society at large is ready to look back on that time with a cinematic lens. For many, the wounds of the pandemic are still fresh, and it can be hard to watch wealthy actors play the roles of struggling everyday Americans with a saccharine enthusiasm when many have yet to recover from the event in real life.

Dumb Money may have benefitted from being released in 2033 rather than 2023. It’s entirely possible that many will rediscover the movie in years to come, and the piece will be regarded as a hidden gem. In the now, however, Dumb Money is a well-acted, well-shot underdog story, derailed too often by misplaced humor and sullied by its proximity to real-life events.