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Ashton Kutcher, Spread


Review in a Hurry: Ashton Kutcher is a hipster himbo who beds a wealthy older woman in the Hollywood Hills. Nope, this isn't a biopic, but a seriocomic Midnight Cowboy/American Gigolo/Shampoo knockoff that's not weighty enough for a drama or sharp enough for satire.

The Bigger Picture: The title is more provocative than the actual movie, though you are treated to lots of bare-butt humping and thrusting. As pseudo gigolo Nikki, Kutcher may be able to charm the panties off his conquests, but as an actor, his charisma—on which the film climaxes or just lies there—fails to match his more impressive, um, assets.

A freeloading lothario with Hollywood dreams, Nikki's M.O. is seducing rich cougars in L.A., including lawyer Samantha (Anne Heche), who gives him lavish presents and a key to her mansion in exchange for frequent shagging. This means countless shots of Kutcher lounging in her pool or Heche writhing in ecstasy—always with the beautiful city skyline behind them.

In gravelly voiceovers, cocky Nikki shares his rules for seduction and deception, so predictably, it's just a matter of time before the tables get turned. Enter Heather (Margarita Levieva), a sassy waitress his own age who initially rebuffs his advances but, as it turns out, runs the same scam he does. These two gorgeous grifters are made for each other, but can either player keep it real for the sake of love? More importantly, can Samantha bounce back after vaginal reconstruction surgery? Yikes.

Kutcher's smarmy smooth-talking quickly wears thin, and though his character's superficiality is part of the point, the script's similar shallowness allows the film to wallow in the narcissism and indulgence it supposedly skewers. Attempts at social commentary are about as genuine as all the inflated boobs—and Samantha's you-know-what.

As Nikki's ex tells him, "I find you vacuous and not very interesting." Exactly.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Kutcher actually does a pretty good impression of Kermit the Frog. Who knew!


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