SXSW Review: “Spin Me Round”

-Allison McCulloch

Spin Me Round was like Suspiria-lite. The film is set at a cooking institute in Tuscany, Italy, with characters taking trips the Italian Riviera. We learn the difference between Ragu and Bolognese and how faking headaches to go on day trips can lead to quite some adventures.

Producer/co-writer Alison Brie also stars as Amber, a manager at a restaurant sent to complete a course in Italy. It seems like a dream, but soon turns into a nightmare as the “too good to be true” scenario is exactly just that. 

Aubrey Plaza (frequent collaborator and wife of director Jeff Baena) plays the assistant of Amber’s new flame Nick (Alessandro Nivola). While it seems like Brie used this film as a vehicle to star in it herself, I would have preferred a film with Plaza who has more star power. Also, Plaza spoke Italian wonderfully and provided a performance that supplied most of the humor. 

One of the things that drives me the craziest in movies is when characters make stupid mistakes. Case in point: Amber calls out the person she thinks is gaslighting her. If someone is crafty enough to try to entrap someone, perhaps it’s not wise to give them the heads-up that you’re on to them. However, without these errors, the film cannot advance the narrative. 

This film does what every horror film should do: make the audience distrust everyone. Also stay for Molly Shannon’s character Deb calling everyone “bitches” and getting a glimpse of the number three restaurant in the world in Lucca, Italy. The film captures the essence of Italy while placing its characters in extreme situations. Despite the minor problems, it’s enjoyable and a thrilling watch overall. 

Vegan alert:
-Commercial with chicken Parmesan
-Tattoo of different sections of a pig to eat
-Gelatin, egg, and milk used in cooking class
-Mussels from fisherman friend in La Spezia
-Grabbing chicken legs
-Pigs are used as a weapon
-Alfredo sauce

Vegan points:
Marjoram is passed around for the students to smell and try.

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