Fresh, funny and racy, Spread is a look at the trials and tribulations of sleeping your way to a life of privilege in Los Angeles. Nikki (Ashton Kutcher) is a fun-loving, freeloading hipster who understands his greatest assets are his looks and sexual prowess. His latest conquest, Samantha (Anne Heche), a stunning middle-aged lawyer, gives Nikki more than he’s ever had before. But when Heather (Margarita Levieva), a gorgeous waitress playing the same game, catches his eye, their lifestyles force a choice between love and money. Nikki has to decide whether he can live on his own once and for all in the hopes of finding something real.
Director David Mackenzie trades the Scottish Highlands for the Hollywood Hills in this darkly comic fable about a male hustler. While Julia Roberts famously portrayed a hooker with a heart of gold, Nikki (producer Ashton Kutcher) suffers from Tin Man Syndrome: he doesn't seem to have a heart at all. As he boasts in his opening narration, "I don't wanna be arrogant here, but I'm an incredibly attractive man." (He has a point, but those suspenders have gotta go.) With his finances in disarray, he sets his sights on Samantha (Anne Heche), a high-powered attorney with an amazing abode overlooking Los Angeles. For such a sophisticated woman, she's surprisingly quick to fall for his patter. Aside from attending to her physical needs, Nikki cooks, runs errands, and makes himself so indispensable he gains the use of her Amex and Mercedes. Then he meets the more age-appropriate Heather (Margarita Levieva), who doesn't find his talk quite so cute, but she gets him in a way Sam doesn't because she's a player, too. Through Heather, Nikki finds his heart, but a real relationship proves far more challenging than a fake one. If the characters in Mackenzie's first American feature, much like the gang on TV's Gossip Girl
, are too vain to inspire much sympathy, they're still fun to watch. Kutcher's ladies' man may not be as iconic as the studs in Midnight Cowboy
and American Gigolo
, but then Mackenzie (Young Adam
, Mister Foe
) isn't going for tears or fears, but rather for escapism with a sexy, slightly cynical edge. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Stills from Spread (Click for larger image)