Film: Spin Me Round

Jeff Baena continues to deploy his talented troupe in his latest film, Spin Me Round (2022), an amusing anti-romcom co-written by its star, Alison Brie. Brie plays Amber, the manager of an Olive Garden-like chain restaurant in Bakersfield, California, whose mundane daily life is tinged with sadness following a bad breakup and derailed entrepreneurial dreams. Amber’s luck seems about to change when her boss puts her in for an all-expenses-paid corporate retreat in Italy. Her trip abroad introduces her to a quirky group of fellow franchise managers, as well as its dashing founder, Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola). Nick promptly sweeps Amber off her feet, injecting unexpected romance into her European vacation. But as the experience progresses, her magical adventure takes a number of weird turns that gradually expose the sad truths underlying the event.

Spin Me Round isn’t especially challenging, but fans of Baena’s peculiar vision will enjoy its low-key pleasures, as well as seeing his increasingly familiar roster of players populating a fresh setting. Rejoining Brie are recurring Baena faves Fred Armisen, Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, and Lauren Weedman, and the ensemble is further bolstered by Tim Heidecker, Tricia Helfer, Ayden Mayeri, Debby Ryan, Ben Sinclair, and Zach Woods. It’s an eccentric bunch, and everyone is in fine form, their interactions providing a frenetic backdrop for Amber’s growing disillusionment. Most viewers will like detect Nick’s inherent inauthenticity before Amber does—the cloying falsity of his retail empire is draped over his persona like an aura—but the script is peppered with enough surprises to keep things interesting, and the predictability doesn’t ultimately detract from enjoying Amber’s early hopes and ultimate awakening. Along the way, one can enjoy Brie’s effortless charisma and the talented comic work of the ensemble as they collectively subvert toxic romcom tropes.

Scroll to Top