Penny (Vaughn) is the big fish in a dodgy phone-sales company, earning decent money and helping support his disabled friend Joel (Cochrane). Then the company implodes and he's suddenly recruited by the legendary hotshot Kelly Grant (Harris) to sell shares in a new venture, which might also be dodgy, but who knows? Penny is a trusting soul--and a better salesman for it--so should he really be selling his soul to a devil like Grant? Or having an affair with his girlfriend (Ormond)?
From the very beginning, Mosher's direction and Wheeler's script catch our attention and hold us tightly through to the strong, surprising, unconventional conclusion. We never know what's going to happen next--or indeed what is really happening behind all the slick sales pitches and slightly askew relationships. And as Penny has a kind of faith crisis, Vaughn's authentic, likeable performance works wonders, drawing out the moral ambiguities (and certainties) in each complicated situation. As a sheer drama, this is thoroughly gripping, engaging, entertaining stuff. As an examination of trustworthiness, it's downright stunning.
[strong themes and situations, language] 31.Oct.00 lff
US release 23.Feb.01
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