Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…let down by heavy-handed writing.
The critically acclaimed Shame showed Michael Fassbender coping, or not coping to be exact, with sex addiction and the subsequent fallout from it. Even lighter films like This Means War hypothesizes the extent a man will go to when dragged along by his libido. In the bluntly titled, Zipper, dilmmaker Mora Stephens throws the spotlight on Sam (Patrick Wilson); a hotshot federal prosecutor with his sights set on congress. With George, a powerful campaign adviser (Richard Dreyfuss) on his right hand side and backed by his dominant wife, Jeannie (Lena Heady), Sam is the boy most likely to succeed. However, a stolen kiss with a co-worker starts Sam down a path of pre-paid phones and escort services that threaten to tarnish his squeaky clean appearance.
Whilst Sam hops from sexy montage to sexy montage, the true strength of the film lies in Heady’s portrait of ambiguous support. She practically runs away with every scene she’s in as the cuckquean wife trying to balance her righteous anger at her husband’s infidelity with her desire to see him achieve the dreams they have shared for so long.
George makes a none to subtle reference to the lawyer’s ‘zipper problem’ and in a way, this succinctly describes the film itself. When it’s good, it is very good. Sam’s new addiction and the disposable manner in which he treats his escorts is perfectly captured when he gives a post-coital pep talk to a young escort, chastising her for sleeping with him. But every time it gets right, Zipper is let down by heavy-handed writing. When George hands Sam an envelope filled with voter donations, the clanging comparisons with how Sam’s pays for his own proclivities is deafening and unwieldy. None to subtle in its approach, Zipper works only when it wants to.