A guy who appears to be late into middle age follows a fairly mature prostitute into a motel room. However, he seems more concerned on his own problems – he confesses to his pay-for-playmate that he is recently unemployed and that he suspects his wife is unfaithful. He also states that he is a poor lover and would appreciate the hooker’s professional advice on how to get his game up. The lady of the evening, however, becomes agitated by her john’s hang-ups.
Jay Pulk’s smart direction makes the most of the claustrophobic setting, and Michele Messmer and Norm Roth beautifully capture the fast-turning emotional anxieties that emerge in this doomed erotic transaction.
The one problem, however, is that Pulk unwisely tops the film’s harsh twist ending with a second twist that does not make much sense. Explaining more in detail would ruin the film’s surprise, so perhaps it is best to say that “Copper Penny” would have enjoyed more power if the filmmaker knew when to leave well enough alone.
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