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Pendelton "Penny" Wise is a smooth-talking con-artist who makes a living by scamming people with phoney travel comp vacations over the phone when, desperate for more fast cash, he's called to work for a shady, veteran con businessman, named Kelly Grant, in selling property for a gold mine over the phone, which takes a turn when Penny begins a relationship with Grant's mistress Caitlin, where Penny throws common sense and caution to the wind to woo her, while we wonder who is scamming who here. Written by
As someone who used to work in a telemarketing gig in Las Vegas (two months of my life I would rather forget about), I can tell you that the first half hour of "The Prime Gig" is the most realistic look at telemarketing ever filmed. The look, the feel, the characters and the situations all ring incredibly true.
One of those characters is Penny (Vince Vaughn), the best salesman in this small time operation. He is the typical big fish in the little pool, but the title promises that he will soon achieve the big time. Of course, he does move on to a "prime gig," and this is where the realism of the movie breaks down. But becoming less realistic doesn't mean the movie becomes less engaging. As much as I enjoyed the first 30 minutes, the last hour is pretty powerful itself.
Two things sustain this movie and make well worth watching:
First, the acting. Besides Vaughn the cast includes Ed Harris, Julia Ormond, Wallace Shawn and George Wendt. All are excellent.
Secondly, at the heart of this movie is a morality tale. Director Gregory Mosher has peered into the depths of the American telemarketing industry. He has looked at the small time operations and the prime gigs.
And what he has found is disturbing. He has found a greed that does not care who it hurts. A greed that will rob an elderly woman of her life savings without a second thought. A greed that will rip off employees as easily as customers. The ending of this movie may be predictable, but it is still very powerful.
So while others on this site have bashed this movie, pay them no attention. You will love "The Prime Gig." Trust me! Hey, would I lie to you? Just give me your trust, and I won't let you down!
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