• 2009-09-10
  • By Michael Litvinsky

ASHTON KUTCHER: Damn you, Van Halen!

Director: David Mackenzie

What was earlier announced as a light comedy genre film, "Spread" surprisingly breaks all possible stereotypes. Despite how it might have seemed from the first look, "Spread" isn't a typical "Ashton Kutcher & the Girl" romance-comedy. And, it takes just a glance at the titles to understand this. Scotland's director, David Mackenzie, famous for his movie "Young Adam," is not the type of director who makes a second-rate, high budget and low class-humor comedy.

Although at the start we see an absolutely familiar and recognizable Kutcher - arrogant, handsome, unbelievably good with women and, of course, charming and charismatic - in the course of the film we stop to envy him, and begin to experience more of a compassion towards his character.
As the movie progresses we see how he seduces older women, how he lives with them, and how unhappy what, at first, seemed to be a carefree life. In his coincidentally astonishing performance Ashton Kutcher manages to show all the many-sided-ness of his, from the first spineless look, character.

His existential wanderings continue when, while being in a relationship with another woman, he finally meets the girl of his dreams 's Heather (Margarita Levieva) - who is a simple waitress (driving an $80,000 Porsche). Love makes him reconsider his previous life, so he decides to abandon his rich girlfriends.

At first, it's a very predictable plot, which then starts pulling aces out of its sleeve. Everything in the main character's life starts to go the wrong way. Heather turns out to be a lot like himself 's seductive and cheating people out of their money; then, his only friend turns his back on him. His money problems begin to get more and more crucial (which is perfectly understandable, considering the fact the he had never worked and his only skill is to seduce women), he has no place to stay and is forced to sell brand new designer clothes for nine dollars per item. You must admit that these are not the sort of things that happen in a romantic-comedy type of movie.

Even when the things start getting a little better and Nicky meets his beloved waitress again (this time, nevertheless, in an absolutely different situation and social status) and their getting together, followed by a completely predictable break up, the film surprises us again. In a classic scene of the main character's love confession and proposal, he out of nowhere gets a "No" as an answer. And these are only a few of the examples of the movie as it breaks the stereotype, brings you back to life and leaves you completely speechless.

Another thing absolutely unexpected from the film, promoted as a romantic-comedy, is the explicit language and nudity, which plenteously and without shame appear on the screen every five or ten minutes, so it is very difficult to call this movie a "fun for the whole family" film.

The film ends showing us Nicky giving up his old life and starting a new and absolutely ordinary one: getting a job, a cheap apartment, making peace with his best friend, so strange as it may seem, the movie ends showing us the typical life of a typical man, which is, by the way, quite unusual for a Hollywood movie.

So in the end: beware. The movie is a detonating mixture of Hollywood's gloss and all the invention of an indie flick, a mixture that most of the viewers won't like or understand. Still if you are looking for originality and unpredictability, "Spread" is just the movie for you.

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