The ’90s tech bubble taught us a lot of things. Now we know not to take a company public before it figures out how to make money, for example. It taught us to stop using onomatopoeias for names, which is also cool. But the most under-appreciated difference between the Dot-Com boom of the ’90s and the “bubble” of today is the lack of movies.
The Dot-Com boom spawned a sub-boom of movies about startups. These strange little films are a genre unto themselves: hackneyed morality tales written to cash in on public’s excitement for startups, but which, due to feature films’ long production schedules, came out after the bubble had popped. This was a dark time for American cinema, and one that — thank god — it doesn’t look like we’re going to repeat. (I mean sure, there’s that dumb reality show about startups, but pretty much anybody with a personality disorder can get one of those.) Anyway, here are the worst of the worst:
2. Purpo$e - 2002
Synopsis: Software developer becomes a billionaire, but still can’t find a “patch” for the “bug” in his heart.
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Board Meeting”
3. The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest - 2002
Synopsis: Young genius assembles motley crew of hackers, including Gary Busey’s son, to build a $99 computer. Also there’s a mean character who’s kind of like Bill Gates. This is actually pretty much the story of the OLPC project, I think??
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Dollar Sign In Title”
4. Antitrust - 2001
Synopsis: Ryan Phillipe gets a sweet job at a “hot Portland-based firm” and then gets in over his pretty little head.
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Communications equipment”
5. Center of the World - 2001
Synopsis: Startup dude falls in love with prostitute.
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Pretending To Use A Banana As A Telephone” OR “Rear Entry Sex”
6. How to Make a Monster - 2001
Synopsis: Hotshot game designers hired to make scary game. Game is too scary.
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Palm Pilot”
7. Want - 2003
Synopsis: I don’t really know??? The site says: “A tale of Dot-Com mania and sex addiction.” Just watch the trailer.
Best IMDB plot keyword: “Sex Addiction”