The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The Zero Effect is based on the great Sherlock Holmes short story A Scandal in Bohemia by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film stars Bill Pullman as Daryl Zero (Sherlock Homes), a gifted but strange private detective who is socially awkward and inept. His "Dr. Watson" is portrayed as Steve Arlo (Ben Stiller). Zero keeps himself locked in his apartment where, like Holmes and his violin, he composes dreadful songs on his guitar and subsists on a diet of tuna, Tab, and amphetamines (Holmes' drug use included morphine and other narcotics). Paralleling" A Scandal in Bohemia", Zero is retained by Gregory Stark (Ryan O'Neal), a wealthy man who hires Zero to investigate who is blackmailing him. During the investigation Zero ventures outside of his apartment encountering Gloria Sullivan (Kim Dickens). Gloria is based on the character Irene Adler, the only woman who had the wit to outdo Holmes, and he admired her for it. Sullivan is the blackmailer (like Adler) and as the film progresses, they begin to fall in love.