“Not another one,” I groaned as the first few minutes of “Spin the Bottle” unspooled before my eyes. But for the first 3/4 of this film, it sure seemed a lot like yet another talky reunion movie. You know, the kind where old friends get together for a reunion then sit around for the next ninety minutes discussing the meaning of life, relationships and philosophy while speaking in the kind of overly-intellectual dialogue found only in a film festival movie. That’s exactly what this film was and my mind started churning up snide comparisons to “The Big Chill” and formulating scathing
commentary about how this kind of stuff was cool in the embryonic “Brothers
McMullen” days of the modern independent film movement but that everyone who could hold a camcorder was trying to make movies like this now.
Then, suddenly, everything changed. Turns out, the innocent reunion weekend wasn’t so innocent after all; that Jonah, the then-geeky, now studly-but-reclusive friend, has organized the whole weekend for a very specific – and surprising – purpose. His connivings serve two purposes. Not only do they set in motion profound, life altering events for the reunion group, but they save this film from being a complete exercise in redundancy.
Too bad it took 3/4 of the film to finally find some fresh air. By then, it was almost, but not quite, too late.