6 October 2002 | joelmp
A mess of a movie
"The Prime Gig" begins promisingly enough as a comedy about telemarketing with wonderful character actors like Wallace Shawn and George Wendt. Vince Vaughn plays the main character, the "star" marketer at a two-bit storefront telemarketing outfit where the crammed in workers have detailed cue cards posted on the walls to help rebut the customers' objections. The movie quickly throws in a sub-plot -- Vaughn cajoles the boss to hire his bitter handicapped friend. And then, fifteen minutes in, the movie switches gears completely. The first shop closes up, and Shawn, Wendt, et al are never seen again. Instead, we get a corporate expose about a high roller operator (Ed Harris)putting together a team to sell multi-thousand dollar shares in a purported gold mine. Vaughn is skeptical, but is enticed by the prospect of big money, and his attraction for Harris' protege, the beautiful Julia Ormond. The rest of the film alternates between the Vaughn-Ormond tryst, the high pressure goings on at the telemarketing office, and an occasional foray back to the relationship of Vaughn and his handicapped friend. None of the pieces add up. The ending is forced and almost unbelievable in terms of the character development that preceded it. The acting is fine, but wasted. This is a case where the parts are better than the whole.