At first, he thought the incidents were only a series of "elaborate pranks." However, the ultimate object and purpose of the game became a life/death threatening proposition.The 'game' was composed of an unpredictable series of increasingly life-changing events, causing him to paranoically ask: "Is it real or not?
The Birthday Gift was a 'Game' - A Unique Life Experience That Was Life-Threatening, Turned Elite Wealthy Investment Banker Nicholas Van Orton's World Upside-Down; It Was a Gift Given By His Younger Brother Conrad, To Make Nicholas' Life More Intriguing and to Prevent Him From Repeating His Father's Suicidal Fate Nickie was a wealthy, cold-hearted, analytical, privileged and soulless, workaholic, "control-freak" San Francisco investment banker executive, divorced from his wife Elizabeth (Anna Katarina) who was living in Sausalito with her new doctor husband. You know, we're like an experiential book-of-the-month club.
After she revealed her real name was Claire ("You don't know anything about me"), Nicholas invited her to dinner.
She counter-invited him to join her for coffee at the airport - the film's final line: "Would you like to have a coffee with me at the airport?
Conrad mused to himself: "What do you get for the man who has everything? An ex-participant of the "game" experience told him he should reference John, Chapter 9, Verse 25 to know what it was all about: "Whereas once I was blind, now I can see." He was notified later that his application had been rejected.
" He promised his brother: Van Orton promised that he would contact CRS, though added: "I hate surprises." He ventured to the 14th floor of the high-rise building on Montgomery Street in SF, to enter CRS' secretive offices, where he was greeted by Jim Feingold (James Rebhorn), VP of Engineering and Data Analysis. He didn't know that he had already started to play the increasingly-elaborate "game." When he drove to his SF home-mansion (actually Filoli in Woodside, CA) that night, Van Orton discovered a life-sized wooden harlequin clown or doll lying in his driveway (in the same position his father had died).
While he's high on painkillers his promiscuous wife Joy hands over divorce papers so she can run off with Earl Jr's real daddy Darnell.