Spin Me Round
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Talented cast in passable indie comedy; sex, language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes honest communication, teamwork, and standing up for integrity and fair treatment. Shows what happens when those in power, specifically men, go unchecked in their harassment and coercion of women who work for them.
Positive Role Models
Amber is curious and willing to look into the strange occurrences during the retreat. Dana helps Amber and is willing to put himself at risk to solve the mysteries. But Nick is an entitled boss with sleazy intentions. He uses his position of power to lure young women and engage them in a sexual relationship. And Pam is, until the end, complicit in Nick's schemes.
Two small supporting roles played by Black actors. A woman stands up to a man in power. While film takes place in Italy, little actual Italian culture is portrayed.
Inclusion information: Bisexual actors, Latinx actors
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Violence & Scariness
A character is shown holding what looks like a gun. A person is attacked and looks dead. People pursue one another and scream in fear. People are hurt and injured by boars.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A gathering turns out to be a group sex party full of consenting adults who are partially nude and in various sexual situations. Naked body parts and adult novelty toys briefly visible. Two characters flirt, kiss, and make out. Passionate kissing. At a party, a woman dances with her breast hanging out of her dress.
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Strong language includes at least a dozen uses of "f--k," "f---ing," "s--t," "holy s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "p---y," and, in Italian, "putana" ("whore"). "Jesus" used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
Range Rover, Mercedes, iPhone.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two characters smoke cigarettes frequently. Adults drink, sometimes to excess, at bars and parties.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spin Me Round is a comedy about a restaurant manager who goes on an employee retreat in Italy, only to find herself in the CEO's romantic clutches. Expect a fair bit of strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.), several sexual references, and partial nudity -- including a wardrobe malfunction that leads to a bare breast, and scenes of a pretty explicit group sex party (with brief glimpses of sex toys). There are also a few scenes of adults drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, a character is shown holding what looks like a gun, and people are attacked and injured. Despite all of the movie's humor, there are underlying messages about the dangers of entitled, powerful men who take advantage of women who work for them. It was directed by Jeff Baena and stars much of his The Little Hours cast, including co-writer Alison Brie, wife Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, and Fred Armisen.
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Spin Me Round
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What's the Story?
In SPIN ME ROUND, Amber (Alison Brie) manages an Olive Garden-like chain restaurant called Tuscan Grove in Bakersfield, California. Amber's co-worker gives her the unexpected news that she's been chosen to attend a special corporate retreat in Italy for a select group of managers. Amber arrives and meets a group of fellow Tuscan Grove employees, including middle-aged Deb (Molly Shannon), who's distraught over losing her luggage; eager Dana (Zach Brooks), who idolizes CEO Nick (Alessandro Nivola); two attractive and carefree women (Debby Ryan and Ayden Mayeri); and former cooking-show contestant Fran (Tim Heidecker). After Nick makes an appearance to meet his staff, accompanied by his assistant, Kat (Aubrey Plaza), she invites Amber out for private meetings with Nick. Amber is flattered and starts to spend more time with Kat and fall for Nick, even as she realizes there's something sketchy about their interactions. Later, when other women in the group start to skip events and head out with Kat, Amber wonders whether the retreat is an elaborate ruse to lure women.
Is It Any Good?
Director Jeff Baena's ensemble is, individually, more talented than this uneven movie suggests, but there's just enough humor to make it worth watching. Brie is well cast (unsurprising, since she co-wrote the script) as the wide-eyed, lonely, and somewhat bored Amber. Her character arc is impressive as she grows from easy-to-manipulate retreat attendee to Pretty Woman-like transformed companion to a knowing, discerning woman. Plaza has long since mastered cool indifference, so her chain-smoking personal assistant Kat is intriguingly aloof and mysterious. Shannon is memorable as an awkward colleague who's clingy and moody, and Brooks is his usual brand of nerdy and self-deprecating. Nivola, who's one of Hollywood's most underused gifted actors, is perfectly smarmy as the handsome CEO who's looking to hook up with his young and attractive employees.
Given the cast's strength, it's a bit underwhelming that Spin Me Round doesn't commit to a particular tone. It's not quite parody, nor is it a straight or broad comedy. There are genuinely funny bits thanks to the cast's well-honed comedic skills, but the screenplay and the plot meander and underdeliver on the various themes (work trip gone wrong, #MeToo nightmare in the making, raunchy sex romp, etc.). And that lessens the impact of the otherwise satisfying ending. Baena has enough good will -- and loyal actors and friends who collaborate on his work -- to keep going with quirky comedies, but he'll need to finesse his pacing and focus his storytelling to make a truly great comedy with his Christopher Guest-like ensemble of regulars.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the popularity of travel movies. Do you consider Spin Me Round a tribute to cuisine and culture in Italy? What makes it different from other films about Americans who visit there?
How is sex portrayed in the movie? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and romantic relationships.
How does the movie explore the issues of sexual harassment, the #MeToo movement, and the way bosses treat female employees?
What character strengths do the characters display in the movie? Why are those strengths important?
- In theaters: August 19, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: January 17, 2023
- Cast: Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, Alessandro Nivola
- Director: Jeff Baena
- Inclusion Information: Bisexual actors, Latinx actors
- Studio: IFC Films
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Cooking and Baking
- Character Strengths: Integrity, Self-control
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: May 8, 2023
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