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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 16, 2009
Film review
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Spread
December 16, 2009 By Witold Żygulski   
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It's time to announce the winner of our informal Worst Movie of 2009 Competition. At the beginning of the year, it seemed the title would go to Peyton Reed's Yes Man, but this dud was knocked off the top spot in July by Largo Winch, directed by Jerome Salle.

It is, however, a latecomer that has clinched the title. The dubious honor goes to Spread by David Mackenzie (Young Adam). The film is an unpalatable blend of blatant narcissism emanating from leading man Ashton Kutcher (Dude, Where's My Car?, The Guardian), vulgar and unfunny humor, moronic dialogues and with an exceptionally large dose of soft-porn thrown in for good measure.

Nikki (Kutcher) is a kept man, supremely confident of his good looks, who lives off rich women in Los Angeles.

Accompanied by an off-screen narration detailing his professional modus operandi, Nikki walks onto the screen and spends a mere minute or so sweet-talking 40-something lawyer Samantha (Anne Heche-Six Days, Seven Nights). That's enough to persuade her to leave a party. Within another couple of minutes he lures her into bed. In the morning, he proceeds to make himself at home in Samantha's 5-million-dollar residence and as a welcome gift, gets a credit card and a tour around luxurious clothes stores. Samantha does not mind that while she is away, her new housemate sleeps around and throws parties for dozens of guests. Samantha is no idiot, though, and hits the nail on the head describing Nikki as "six inches and a pretty face." "Seven inches!" the gigolo responds indignantly, with the expression of someone who's had his chief asset questioned.

Instead of throwing Nikki out the door, Samantha attempts to save the relationship by signing up for surgical improvement of her private parts. I'll spare you the details, but the account from the ostentatiously cheerful plastic surgeon may discourage more sensitive viewers from ever having sex again.

Just as it seems the idyll with Samantha is meant to last, along comes Heather (Margarita Levieva-The Invisible), a waitress from a small restaurant where Nikki pops in for breakfast. For reasons unknown, the professional kept man goes ga-ga over this girl, who is neither pretty nor interesting. He loses whatever reason he has and never even stops to reflect on why, for example, a humble waitress can afford to drive a Porsche. When the truth comes out, it's too late…

Kutcher, a former model adored by women around the world and now best known as Mr. Demi Moore, spends the first half of the movie sporting a look meant to convey a cute boy with the world and all its toys at his feet. In the second half, the look changes to that of cute, hurt boy who's not getting any toys from the bad world any more. In both cases he is equally pathetic. But it gets even worse at the end of the film, when the screenwriter has him spout off-screen pseudo-philosophical reflections on dreams, disappointments, lessons learned and similar garbage.

It is really hard to find a single reason to see Spread. The script is infantile while the only actor to deliver a relatively decent performance is Heche. When in the final scene a huge South American frog devours a white mouse with a single snap of its mouth, the viewer may well think that it's the first significant thing to happen in the movie.
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