Thursday, August 18, 2022

Genres collide in ‘Spin Me Round’


As the manager of an Italian restaurant that's part of a ubiquitous chain, Alison Brie's Amber thinks she's had a stroke of luck. Dutiful and loyal, Amber learns that she's been selected to attend a corporate retreat in Tuscany. Amber is supposed to stay at a villa owned by the head of the Tuscan Grove chain (Alessandro Nivola) that employs her. As it turns out, Amber and a variety of other managers are housed in a bare-bones hotel near the boss's extravagant villa. Their supposed immersion in Italian culture proves superficial and it soon becomes clear that Spin Me Round wants to shade its comedy with thriller elements. Hidden "romantic" agendas arise, particularly after Nivola's Nick invites Amber to join him on his beautiful yacht. Among the cast. Molly Shannon stands out as a woman with anger-management problems. Aubrey Plaza, always intriguing, plays Nick's no-nonsense assistant, a woman with a libidinous plan of her own. Zach Woods portrays Dana, a guy who buys into the chain's propaganda, at least for a while. Director Jeff Baena, who wrote the screenplay with Brie, tries to blend rom-com and thriller flavors, but the story's mystery seems clear to everyone except the folks in the movie. After generating a few laughs and threatening to ride a pleasant Tuscan vibe, Spin Me Around sounds vaguely ominous notes that don't swell into anything rich or exciting. And, oh yeah, the comedy doesn't always spark, either.

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