Ok, here it is, it can't fail, it's only a matter of how many billions it'll pull in. You ready? Are you sitting down, perhaps with some Peak Freans and a nice mug of Sanka? It's gonna blow your mind through your chest, your colon and leave a gaping hole where your vestigial tail (that your parents had removed because "No son/daughter of theirs was going to live the life of a circus freak, what with child labour laws being what they were, and how saturated the Monkey Child market is with the regional circus circuit...") used to be.
Alrighty, so the story revolves around Francis, a hemp farmer and interpretive banjo avant-garde conceptualizer who travels three months of the year to Africa to help them run clown schools for the deaf and those susceptible to renal failure.
His partner and love of his life, Jessica, is a folk-singer who plays free shows for Sandinista Rebels and the Society of WW I Half-Track Repairmen. On her time off she crafts beautifully made stained-glass windows for neighbours, friends, and a homeless man who, while looking craggy and utterly without the benefit of modern psychiatric phramacology, is actually very kind and gentle at heart.
They lead a life of warmth and laughter and fill it with quirky friends and a non-traditional yet heartwarming interpretation of the extended family.
Then one day, Francis meets William, a high powered hedge fund manager, champion polo player, and second captain for a nationally ranked yacht team. William, through a series of very low-key and understated adventures, exposes Francis to the rat-race of broken dreams, high grade Columbian White, and 30-something Type-A personalities who are already working on their third angina. He's drawn into a lifestyle of power and six-martini lunches.
Before Francis knows it, he's sold his hemp farm, divorced Jessica, and used exotic financial tools to bilk the African clown schools out of every dime they ever had and then parlayed that money into seeding a venture capital firm which helps build companies that sell and distribute, piecemeal, former Soviet Russia's war machine.
Next is a time-lapse series of events, showing him going through his insanely structured life filled with high-priced Italian cars and higher-priced women. Cross-fades of him laughing hysterically and him sobbing in unhinged peals of deepest anguish, all, of course, in front of some sort of stock-trading computer. Several shots of him in a daze in luxurious rooms surrounded by various indescribable sex and/or drug paraphernalia.
The end of the movie will have him meet up with Jessica, by chance. They don't recognize each other. She has dropped her previous lifestyle and has become a high-powered music executive. The movie closes on them having empty, meaningless sex, each focused in the middle distance while Joe Cocker's version of With a Little Help from My Friend plays over Jessica's immaculate $178,000 custom-engineered Bose stereo system.