Alison Brie Goes on a Strange, Funny, and Uneven Italian Vacation in Spin Me Round

Alison Brie Goes on a Strange, Funny, and Uneven Italian Vacation in Spin Me Round ...

This article was originally published as part of our SXSW 2022 coverage.

Amber (Alison Brie), who has worked as a manager for the Italian restaurant Tuscan Grove for nine years, agrees that this will be a life-changing adventure. But almost immediately, the group finds themselves stuck in a dingy hotel with locked doors and silverfish.

Amber is escorted away by Tuscan Groves' owner, Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola), who is always under the watchful eye of his assistant, Kat (Aubrey Plaza). But as the trip goes on, Amber begins to wonder if there's something more on her life after her vacation.

Jeff Baena's last film, 2020s Horse Girl, which was co-written by Baena and Brie, focused more on the main character and less on the ensemble cast. Spin Me Round is a hybrid of both.

Spin Me Round is transformed into an enjoyable ensemble comedy thanks to an unhinged Shannon, a scene-stealing Mayeri, and Woods, who get an opportunity to be an accomplice to Amber as the films mysteries unfold. Sadly, Amber's trips to Italy with Nick and Kat arent nearly as fun as her companions at any given time.

Amber's ability to be a hero works for this genre-bending story. What Spin Me Round initially seems to be a princess romance, but it quickly devolves into a trip of disappointment and lowered expectations. Depending on the scene, Spin Me Round can be Amber's ideal romantic getaway, but other times, it can be a horror movie, a mystery, or even a whodunit.

Spin Me Round's free-flowing structure works in bits and pieces, but the narrative Baena and Brie have crafted here has little significance as a whole. Its at its finest when its working in Baenas' wheelhouse, bringing together a group of interesting actors and putting them to the test.But as a whole, Spin Me Round feels like a vacation.

A grade of B-

Spin Me Round will be available on August 19 in cinemas, VOD, and AMC+.