Western Animation / $9.99
is a stop motion film which was a collaboration between an Australian and an Israeli. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 4, 2008, and since then was selectively released in theatres.
The story follows a man named Dave Peck, who is searching for the meaning of life, instead of employment, specifically in his father's moving business (to the dismay of said father). One day, Dave sees an advertisement for a book that says it will tell him the meaning of life for the price of $9.99. He begins to read this novel, and wishes to spread this message he has received to everyone else, who is uninterested. Along the way, other people and their problems are intertwined with Dave's story, such as a woman who likes "smooth men", to quite an extreme, literal sense.
$9.99 provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic — Ron.
- Body Horror / Rubber Man — Oddly enough, it's not treated as scary. Lenny discovers that Tanita likes her men super-smooth and super-soft—to the point of being boneless; her very furniture consists of her other boneless boyfriends, and they're entirely cool with it. He goes out & does the same "deboning" operation they had, and she loves him better for it.
- Then again, what guy wouldn't pass up the chance to have a supermodel in his lap, even as a literal chair?
- Chalk Outline — Played straight, marking where the Angel fell to his death—the second time, if he was also the homeless man.
- Jerk Ass — The homeless guy at the beginning. The Angel, later. Still later, he qualifies as an Asshole Victim.
- Magical Realism / Unusually Uninteresting Sight — In some ways. There's an angel with actual wings, Ron's inch-or-so-tall stoner mates who do Farts on Fire, and Tanita's presumed prior boyfriends, who've somehow had their bones zapped out of them and are now literally her beanbags, but no one seems to show shock or surprise—at best, just good old curiosity. One of Ron's mates, for instance, even goes to university (or so he claims), presumably like normal six-foot people.
- Ignored Confession — Kweller, the old guy, fairly demands the police to arrest him for the angel's murder, but the cop lets him off, saying that, if he's a believer, God probably forgives him anyway.
- Jaded Washout — Jim Peck, and Ron to a degree.
- Line-of-Sight Name — The Hearing-Range Name version. Zacky names his Piggy Bank "Kweller" after the Angel shouts the old guy's name on the way down, after Kweller pushed him off the roof.
- MacGuffin — Dave's book on the meaning of life, whose price comprises the movie's title.
- Manipulative Bastard — The homeless guy/angel. And everyone else too. This movie is about all kinds of manipulation, some more subtle than others. The only person who's not a manipulative bastard is Dave, and it's not really for lack of trying. He really wants to share the meaning of life, he just doesn't communicate well.
- Ms. Fanservice — In-universe and out, Tanita, the supermodel, whose Establishing Character Moment involves a TV commercial for a bank, and who's been a swimsuit cover. She's actually shown in the nude several times.
- Piggy Bank — The smartest character in the movie. Put a $0.50 coin in, he smiles! Put a $0.25 in, he smiles! Put in nothing at all, he still smiles!
- Stop Motion