Of all the pleasures 2010 might offer, few will be guiltier than ‘Spread’. Shallow, melodramatic, pretentious and wildly misguided, it’s also ambitious, entertaining and rather funny. Ashton Kutcher (right) plays Nikki, a vapid pretty boy (typecasting alert!) who uses his studly charms to gain favours from rich LA women. Until – shock horror – he falls in love with Margarita Levieva’s stunning but brittle waitress, who may be employing a few manipulative tricks of her own.

British director David Mackenzie (‘Hallam Foe’) desperately wants ‘Spread’ to be the modern equivalent of Hal Ashby’s ‘Shampoo’: a searing indictment of Hollywood superficiality and American avarice. The opening is promising – crisply photographed, sharply written and unashamedly sexual. Nikki is a memorably voracious vulture, the perfect fit for Kutcher’s brash public persona. That is, until the script suddenly demands that we empathise with him: our hero’s fall from grace provokes scorn rather than sympathy, though there’s still a fair amount of vindictive enjoyment to be had on the way down.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday January 1 2010
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: David Mackenzie
Screenwriter: Jason Hall
Cast: Ashton Kutcher
Anne Heche
Margarita Levieva
Sebastian Stan
Sonia Rockwell
Maria Conchita Alonso
Hart Bochner
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