Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche
Direction: David Mackenzie
Rating: 1 and half stars
The premise of this vacuous morality tale is very familiar. Making his American directorial debut, Scot director Mackenzie (About Adam) borrows elements from Sunset Boulevard (1950), Shampoo (1975) and American Gigolo (1980) — to cite only three titles — to narrate the exploits of a bed-hopping stud.
Recently arrived in Los Angeles, the toy boy (Kutcher, arguably one of the worst actors in Hollywood today), hooks up with an attractive older businesswoman (Heche).
Strutting around smugly, the young man believes that he’s God’s gift to women. So it’s only to be expected that he dallies with several other wealthy single ladies.
It’s also obvious that sooner or later he’s bound to get his comeuppance and how. For a twist in the plot, then, the cad’s fail-proof plan backfires when he encounters a 20-something waitress (newcomer Margarita Levieva, engaging enough).
It turns out that the girl can beat him at his own con game.
The thin storyline is stretched beyond the limit of endurance.
Clichés pile up relentlessly before the picture peters out in an anticlimax. The redemption of the jaded philanderer is unconvincing.
Incidentally, some steamy scenes have been snipped by the censors.
Do, however, stay on till the end credits roll, else you’ll miss the film’s funkiest shot: a make-what-you-will-of-it close-up of a toad devouring a small rodent.
Spread is worth a glance, but only if there is no alternative.