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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Penny Wise and Pig Grimy

The Prime Gig on IMDb

Plot Overview

middle age manPendleton “Penny” Wise (Vince Vaughn,) pushing 30, is the quint­essential happy bachelor living a “life of leisure” in San Diego. He'd passed up a lucrative corporate position involving long hours and travel to do tele­marketing on a commission basis. He has a silver tongue and makes good money though arriving late to the office. He's a guitar man who's successful with the chicks. He has a long-time friend Joel in need (Rory Cochrane) whom he regularly helps. He works out on a punching bag at home. He's got a life. The company he's been selling for, Best Leisure Promotions, has hit a snag in the Christmas season; people have already made their holiday plans. The tight-fisted corporate head Lloyd (J.J. Johnston) is shuttering the office. Having no interest in Christmas he jews all his sales­men out of their final check.

Christmas bellsPenny with his stellar reputation gets snatched up right away by headhunter Caitlin Carlson (Julia Ormond) factotum for high-end promoter Kelly Grant (Ed Harris,) CEO of Spectrum Ore & Mineral, Ltd. He's offering investment opportunities in a gold mine in Arizona. We note his parent company's prospectus includes other mines they're working in South America including one they call Nueva Esperanza (New Hope.) What happened, we wonder, to the old Hope mine? They spread their risk across multiple continents. Spectrum, how­ever, will just cut and run. The Christmas season will work in Penny's favor when some rich widows find them­selves lonely and open to investment advice from kind-sounding strangers. Oh, well.

turkeyPenny uses a patented Benjamin Franklin close listing the pros and cons of a buying decision.
American Bald EagleBen Franklin had wanted the ungainly turkey for America's national bird rather than the bald eagle because it's a scavenger. Penny's handi­capped friend Joel is a turkey but he enjoys observing the innocent children at play. Caitlin reminds one of a bald eagle in her white hard hat on site, and she's a leech. She offers to pay Penny to “marry” her so she can obtain a green card. Their wedding is analogous to what in an Edward Wright novel, “they call a Michigan bank­roll. Big bills on the out­side. mostly singles on the inside” (7.) The wedding chapel off a honky-tonk looked swell with chairs lined up in rows and a suit inside to officiate (“Next.”) But there was no best man, no maid of honor, no wedding party at all. The witnesses in the next room merely rubber-stamped their license in line with every­body else's. The dance floor was shared with other newly-wed celebrants. It was, “strictly business: $5,000, no china, no living together, no couples counseling or any of that—” Way to go.


home readingThere's a special section in the middle of the Bible called the wisdom books. They're layered by perspective. First comes the book of Job, a long dispute that concludes God's wisdom is above man's and he doesn't tell us every­thing. Then comes the book of Psalms presenting wisdom lyrically. Proverbs is next, for the most part the wisdom a father passes on to his son, but the next-to-the-last chapter (30) is street smarts that one's friends may convey, and the last chapter (31) is the wisdom a mother passes on to her son. Then comes Ecclesiastes preaching wisdom got by experience. Finally, there's the Song of Solomon, the wisdom spouted by someone in love.

men playing chess“Prime Gig” presents the street smarts one guy might pass on to his buddy. As, (Prov. 30:1) “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal.” Agur is hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer. (Prov. 30:2-3) “Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the under­standing of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.” At chess Penny is stuck on “the same French opening” while Joel plies his “Indian voodoo defense” to guard the four central squares. Joel is “in the Tao” (“I happen to be enlightened”) while Penny is “still on this level, right here, with this ego.” He doesn't even mark the meaning of Christmas. Yet this movie will acquaint us with some low-hanging fruit. (Prov. 30:7) “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:”

(Prov. 30:8-9) “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Penny's boom-or-bust work has all been with, “scams, a bunch of liars.” His friend Joel expounds that, “Tele­marketing is funda­mentally evil because it's set up on selling some people some b.s. that they don't need.” Even Penny's love life doesn't match up to the wedding dance song, “No soy nada. Yo no tengo vanidad.

hard hatted workersIt's a matter of attitude. Black seller Zeke (Romany Malco Jr.) is success-minded. He wears his hard had turned back­wards at the excavation. And he's the first to spout the affirmation, “I am ready to be M–F-ing wealthy today!” He's first to announce his sale, “BOO–YAH, M–F—! Zeke is a pimp. Thank you, Jesus.” He's also loudest to protest when, “your Friday pay­check is gonna bounce.” He announces to the world, “I'm gonna get my effing money! I swear to effing God! Whoo, you a dead M–F-er. You effing with the wrong niggah this time, you s.o.b.” God seems to be part of this pimp's stable rather than an important “Who is the LORD?” to follow.

The other side of the coin is poverty. Caitlin seems to have acquired some debt and she's beholden to Kelly Grant. If she yields to the temptation to make a with­drawal from the pot, the observant bank teller (Christina Cabot) might remark, “Oh, my God!” Sticky fingers oft times provoke people to “take the name of my God in vain.”

Production Values

” (2000) was directed by Gregory Mosher. It was written by William Wheeler. It stars Vince Vaughn, Julia Ormond and Ed Harris. Vaughn did his dramatic best. He and Ormond were fun to watch with each other. The whole cast was excellent. The first, store­front crew was quirky as a circus.

MPAA rated it R for language and sexuality. This is a good all-round picture where all its parts bear up to an excellent script. Recognizable actors put in fine performanes. The plot keeps us guessing.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is an unpretentious picture with a minor lesson on life told well. It sticks in the mind long after the viewing is over. Knock yourself out.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Wright, Edward. While I Disappear. Copyright © 2004 by Edward Wright. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2004. Print.