Display of male sexuality and Hollywood, whenever they have occasionally come together, has made for a good couple. The 1970`s had Hal Ashby`s Oscar winner "Shampoo", the 1980s had "American Gigolo". The 1990s and the 2000s have had many forgettable films that tried to create the magic of these films. Now you have "Spread" and your perception of the movie will totally depend on your taste in films.
Nikki (Kutcher) is one of the thousands who land in Los Angeles every month with starry Hollywood dreams in their eyes, but find themselves doing `peculiar` things just to survive. The back story, though never made clear, suggests that either Nikki tried and gave up, or he never really did try, opting instead for the easy way out - freeloading his cute face and body on successful, rich women.
Over time, he has got quite good at it and right now, he is piling on Samantha. Using an elaborate set of tricks, he manages to stay in her home.
The deal is simple, she works by day and when she returns home, she is treated to some great ex from this `Greek God`. There is no relationship.
Complications arise when the charms of the overconfident Nikki don`t work on the waitress, Heather. He is led into a wild chase by her, till finally he gets her. Only, she does not turn out to be who she is. But then, neither is he.
It is a story that has been given different forms through time with the basic idea of a hustler who meets his match. Yet, what sets the film apart is its dark, broody demeanour.
This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill sex comedy, nor a romance, and neither entirely a coming-of-age for the protagonist movie. Instead, you have an interesting mix of all these, that you will either love or totally abhor.
Ashton Kutcher shows that he has talent as he deftly goes from a lazy, confident charmer in the first half to a broody, homeless romantic in the second.
The selection of soundtrack to go with key moments, a dark but subtle satire spread over the film including an insane last shot as the titles roll, show the skill of director David Mackenzie.
Despite illustrious predecessors to live up to, it does hold its own, yet never having enough to be regarded as a classic in the future.
What you have instead is an engaging drama, though predictable, with enough sex thrown in to not bore you one bit during the film. The end, depending on your tastes, might leave you wanting more. But if you have a dark sense of humour, the end works just fine.