- Paul Dale
- 17 December 2009
Lothario, gigolo or Casanova? Shallow, handsome city of angels resident Nikki (Ashton Kutchner) is not really sure what he is, but he knows one thing. He’s too skint to be a playboy. Then one night he links up with prosperous cougar Samantha (Anne Heche, excellent) and quickly moves in to her sunny hillside pile. But Nikki has the morals of an alley cat and while Samantha is away on business he uses her apartment to seduce girls closer to his age group. His comeuppance is inevitable.
Trading less on the existential semantics (inflated by Reaganite free market policies) of Paul Schrader’s thematically similar American Gigolo (1980) than on a kind of slacker fatalism, Spread is a very conventional morality fable. The only real surprise is that it’s directed by ex Scottish resident and major filmmaking talent David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Hallam Foe) working in America for the first time. To be fair most of the film’s problems are not his, Jason Dean Hall’s abysmal script is an embarrassment of predictabilities and epiphanies and lead Kutchner in the lead is simply not up to the job – the sex scenes are fine but the rest of the time he’s about as convincing as a clothes horse (let’s not even get started on the wardrobe department thought they were doing here).
Worse, Spread feels oddly compromised, any darkness Mackenzie manages to ring out of the material is hastily usurped, Spread appears to be the work of a good filmmaker at odds with a clueless studio.
General release from Fri 1 Jan.