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Spin Me Round review: a forgettable vacation comedy

For better or worse, Spin Me Round is really a worthy addition to writer-director Jeff Baenas growing filmography.

The Alison Brie-led comedy includes a lot in keeping with many of Baenas past efforts. Like Life After Beth and THE TINY Hours, the film is really a desert-dry farce about miscommunication and confusion. Using moments, it even feels as though Baenas most precise study of the strange places that romantic yearning may take an individual. As was the case with Horse Girl, THE TINY Hours, and Joshy, too, Baenas latest effort also boasts an extraordinary cast of capable, charming performers, including Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, and Fred Armisen.

But Spin Me Round still is suffering from most of the same conditions that have grown to be commonplace in Baenas work. Specifically, the brand new vacation-gone-wrong comedy spends a lot of its runtime moving along at a meandering pace, the one that its third act never manages to totally justify. Consequently, Spin Me Round eventually ends up ranking as you of the years strangest comedies. Like a lot of Baenas films, its absurdly hilarious using parts and needlessly frustrating in others.

Thanks to IFC Films

Spin Me Round follows Amber (Brie), a manager at an Olive Garden-esque Italian chain restaurant, who receives an invite to go to Italy and be a part of an annual corporate immersion program that’s designed to honor and reward her employers best workers. When she arrives, Amber soon finds herself being seduced by the restaurant chains handsome owner, Nick (Alessandro Nivola), whose attention leads her to trust that her Italian getaway may become the trip of an eternity.

Unfortunately for Amber, not everything is really as it seems. Quickly enough, her doubts about Nicks intentions, which are stoked by the warnings of his prickly assistant, Kat (Plaza), force her to take into account the chance that her Italian trip could be more threatening than shed initially assumed. Once that belief takes hold, its shortly before Ambers vacation begins to devolve into pure and utter chaos.

That premise efficiently sets Spin Me Round around be considered a truly absurd, go-for-broke vacation comedy. To the films credit, it can eventually become that, but only after spinning its wheels for pretty much one hour. The films script, that was co-written by Baena and Brie, never quite understands how exactly to effectively build toward its memorable climax, or how exactly to plant the type of intriguing seeds that viewers need to be able to remain engaged completely up to as soon as once the artificial alfredo sauce finally hits the fan.

Alessandro Nivola stands behind Aubrey Plaza in Spin Me Round.
Thanks to IFC Films

Spin Me Round expects the absurd shenanigans of its third act to create up for the patience necessary to ensure it is through its first hour, but thats not what goes on. As the films climax is genuinely fun to view unfold, the surprisingly strained epilogue that follows it isnt satisfying enough to create everything in Spin Me Round together. Instead, the film eventually ends up feeling, similar to the food that Nivolas restaurant chain serves, as an assemblage of disparate things that have already been haphazardly tossed together instead of lovingly combined into one cohesive meal.

Thankfully, while Baena has repeatedly struggled to totally explore his ideas onscreen, the writer-director has always had a knack for piecing together an extraordinary cast. Thats particularly true in Spin Me Round, that allows all of its actors to produce a memorable impression, even though the films plot doesnt know very well what related to them.

As Kat, Plaza brings a refreshingly forthright, acerbic presence to Spin Me Round, which just makes the lackluster treatment of her character by Brie and Baenas script a lot more disappointing. Her sudden exit in the films second half, that is nonchalantly shrugged off by Nivolas Nick, leaves Spin Me Round with a hole that it never quite manages to fill. Fortunately, Nivola, who has steadily emerged as you of Hollywoods most dependable character actors, turns in just one more impressively committed performance inSpin Me Round because the lovelorn, manipulative object of Ambers desire.

Thanks to IFC Films

Zach Woods also gradually emerges as you of Spin Me Rounds most effective players. After spending most its first two acts waiting in the backdrop, Woods takes your hands on the reins in Spin Me Rounds final third and provides a paranoid and frustrated performance of truly screwball proportions. His memorable turn as Dana, among the restaurant managers that Bries Amber meets on her behalf trip, helps heighten the absurdity of several of Spin Me Rounds climactic revelations.

Spin Me Round – Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films

All this would be to say that Spin Me Round feels, in lots of ways, just like the logical latest addition to Baenas filmography. Its third act could be the directors most satisfying up to now, but its first hour feels, sometimes, frustratingly dull and drawn-out. As the film is deliberately made to test its viewers patience, Spin Me Rounds admittedly funny climax never feels big or seismic enough to function as complete payoff to its hourlong slow burn.

Quite simply, Spin Me Round is, like many of Baenas past films, effective in a nutshell bursts but ultimately slighter than its all-star cast could have you think.

Spin Me Round hits theaters and AMC+ on Friday, August 19.

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