Spread

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Spread Movie Poster Image
Sexy-but-shallow grifter dramedy is too mature for kids.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Although the lead characters lead pretty vacuous lives in pursuit of superficial happiness, one of them appears to undergo an epiphany of sorts. Definitely sends some mixed messages about the importance and significance of sex, as well as what love means.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The lead characters are pretty selfish, opportunistic, and materialistic, though they all undergo a certain amount of change (some more than others). Sex is treated casually (the main character is basically a gigolo).

Violence

Two friends have a falling out; one throws the other’s belongings from a terrace, and they shout at each other. Couples argue, sometimes explosively. A woman slaps a man’s face.

Sex

Sexuality is a main theme of the movie, and there are explicit sex scenes throughout. Breasts and behinds are bared (sometimes in close-up), and couples are shown in various sexual positions. A man and woman bathe together. Fairly detailed discussion of a medical procedure known as vaginal rejuvenation.

Language

Fairly frequent use of everything from “s--t” and "f--k" to “a--hole."

Consumerism

Characters are hung up on status symbols, including Mercedes Benz cars and Hermes, and will do pretty much anything to maintain a lifestyle that can support their consumerism/materialism.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters smoke, and there’s a fair amount of drinking at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mature Ashton Kutcher dramedy is an interesting take on beautiful L.A. and all its associated ugliness -- but it's definitely not for kids. Expect lots of fairly graphic sex scenes (including naked breasts and buttocks), some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k"), and pervasive materialism (with all of the associated high-end labels). The lead character -- who's essentially a gigolo -- does go through a sort of reinvention borne out of a realization that what he has isn’t what he wants, but he's still not exactly what you'd call a role model.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywonder dove September 14, 2012

Ashton "Wows" in Adult role...

Spread, is definitely something younger teens should not see. Sometimes I wonder if they cast the wrong people on purpose just to have teens wanting to see the... Continue reading
Adult Written bygoodgirl January 4, 2017

i like it a movie mostly for teens and adults ofcourse.

Ashton did an adult role in this movie. a movie mostly for teens and adults but not children. a mature movie for the mature audience.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKayleann March 21, 2011

wow

Spread is an alright movie but some of the sex scenes are like omfg. I saw it because I heard Ashton Kutcher was in it. It's not one oof the best movies bu... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nikki (Ashton Kutcher) has found the key to survival in glamorous Los Angeles: He picks up older, affluent women and shacks up with them, romancing them as they support him. His latest conquest is Samantha (Anne Heche), a lawyer afraid of aging who’s willing to go along with his scheme. But when he meets a waitress, Heather (Margarita Levieva), who knows his game and -- more importantly -- plays it even better than he does, Nikki is smitten. But can they find real love?

Is it any good?

Hey, Ashton: Richard Gere called, and he wants his boy-toy role back; after all, Gere did it much more justice in American Gigolo. Though Kutcher gets major points for style and effort, there's little nuance to his performance. He's either callow or captivated when, really, he ought to be both. Still, he has charm, and it’s believable that women would house him, feed him, and keep him willingly, even if he has no job, no car, or no intent to commit. (His sexual prowess appears to be the main hook.)

Levieva is sexy, but Heche rules. She's one of those perfectly coiffed women who both age and don't age at the same time; their flawlessness is a dead giveaway that they'll go to any length -- even very delicate surgery -- to stay intact. Heche doesn't overplay; her character's desperation simmers until it boils, scalding on impact. SPREAD is entertaining enough -- it’s stylish and captures L.A.'s peculiar-yet-compelling allure -- but it doesn't have much to add to the cinematic conversation. And when it moves Nikki toward redemption, it loses the little edge it had. We don't much care if he changes or not, so what’s the point in cheering him on?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays sex and relationships. Parents, if your teens watch, be sure to discuss the real-life consequences of sex, as well as your own family's values on the subject.

  • Why does Nikki do what he does? Is his life as enviable as it might seem to outside observers? Why does he start to struggle with himself?

  • What's the movie's take on society’s obsession with material trappings? Is this trend exaggerated for effect in the movie, or do you think this is really how some people live?

Movie details

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