Tiptoes (2003) - Plot Summary - IMDb
Tiptoes (2003) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The story of a peculiar love triangle involving two brothers.

  • Two brothers - a dwarf (Rolfe) and one of typical size (Steve). When Steve's girlfriend Carol becomes pregnant, the pair are fearful that the baby will inherit the dwarfism gene. Matters are complicated still further when she finds herself falling in love with Rolfe.

  • Carol is an artist, Steven trains firefighters. They've lived together for months and plan to marry soon, except that Steve's left out an important detail about himself and his chromosomes: his parents, twin brother, and many of his relatives are dwarfs. Carol learns this when Steve's brother Rolfe drops by, the day after she discovers she's pregnant. Why hasn't he told her about his family? She calls on them, and they take her to their hearts. But tensions mount between the lovers as she believes he's ambivalent and angry about his family, and he thinks she's romanticizing the life and many health problems of little people. Can they get over these emotional barriers?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The movie begins with Rolfe (Oldman) and Maurice (Dinklage) riding trikes down the highway interspersed with scenes of Steven (McConaughey) and Carol (Beckinsale) talking about his family. They decide to pick up Lucy (Arquette) who has been dumped by her bus. Steven goes to a convention for the Little People Defense League and reveals that his parents are indeed little people. He parties with them and meets Rolfe outside, who is his brother. They talk and then part ways. Steven goes home and talks with Carol and she tells him that she is pregnant. He gets upset and leaves.

    Rolfe, Maurice, and Lucy end up at a seedy motel. Maurice and Lucy try to have sex while Rolfe tries to sleep. Maurice gets sick and Rolfe leaves and goes to see an old girlfriend, where he almost gets beat up by her current boyfriend. He goes over to his brother's house and meets Carol, who is surprised to learn about him.

    Maurice wakes up in the motel and Lucy attacks the motel manager before they leave. Carol finds Rolfe at work and they argue about whether or not her child could be a dwarf. Maurice and Lucy go to the park and lie on a blanket and talk about each other. Rolfe and Carol talk about her pregnancy and they go meet some more dwarfs and talk.

    Everyone goes to a party where Maurice argues with the dwarfs and Rolfe argues with Steven. Rolfe catches his girlfriend having sex with some dude. Steven and Carol talk and finally decide to have the baby even though it could be a dwarf.

    Steven and Carol and their parents all meet and Carol's mom is initially freaked out. They all get along and everyone goes to their wedding, which is Jewish.

    Flash forward to the baby's birth. It is born a dwarf and Steven is very upset. He cannot deal with it and Carol goes to stay with Rolfe at his parents cabin.

    Maurice and Lucy are there, but soon get in a fight and leave. Rolfe helps Carol take care of the baby. Steven eventually shows up at the cabin. He talks with Carol, but cannot convince her that he can help raise the child. Carol and Rolfe eventually fall in love and raise the child themselves.

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