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Movie Reviews

‘Spin Me Round’ review: Cooking & loving for the masses

Eating out.

Spin Me Round begins with a dreamy series of shots. A thick buttery substance folds into and against itself in slow motion. Caring romantic music plays as the scene unfolds revealing a very unromantic and ordinary location. 

The comedy subverts expectations often. Amber (Alison Brie, Promising Young Woman) is the manager of an American chain restaurant that is more than a little reminiscent of Olive Garden. When she is selected to become part of a training program in Italy, she dreams of glamour and romance. She soon finds herself a part of a dangerous mystery. 

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Spin Me Round never settles on a tone bouncing from romantic comedy to thriller to fish out of water story. Sometimes, it can work well, as evidenced by a giallo-esque scene in which Amber follows a suspect. In its worst moments, it all feels erratic and rushed. 

This constant shift in tone can be confusing at times, but underneath the entire film is a sense of fun. Along with Brie is a strong cast that includes Aubrey Plaza and Zach Woods. Spin Me Round provides ridiculous moments that are filled with laughs, but even the more toned down segments work due to the comedic chops of all involved. 

The mystery portions of Spin Me Round are hit and miss. When Amber and restaurant magnate Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola, The Art of Self-Defense) have their first prolonged conversation, there is a strange undercurrent to it all. He is obviously using his wealth and power to woo her, but nothing suggests he is not being genuine.

As their relationship moves forward, things become more worrisome. This includes a extravagant party he takes her to. The guests act weird and things become more creepy. It seems like Amber may be in serious trouble.

Complicating matters is Nick’s assistant Kat (Aubrey Plaza). She says she wants to keep Amber out of trouble, but she also appears to have her own agenda. Strangely, Kat ends up being little more than an ends to a mean and ends up meaning little to the plot. This is a symptom common in Spin Me Round. For all the good, some parts seem thrown together. This is most evident in the hurried final moments. As funny as the revelation is, it does not land with the impact it should.

The film still ends up being an entertaining watch. The characters are endearing and the mystery is engaging. Amber’s development is also well written as Spin Me Round takes on a number of themes in its chaotic tale.

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