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$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 Beautiful Game -- The kid really wants a Soccer Jack doll. He's got some good moves himself, as Dave's brother attests.
- Jerkass -- The homeless guy at the beginning. The Angel, later. Still later, he qualifies as an Asshole Victim.
- 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.
- 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