Billy (Xavier Samuel) and Lucy (Morgan Griifn) are close friends who have grown up together in a small country town. They are a pair of ute muster champs. One day, Billy pulls a particularly hare-brained stunt and as a result, Lucy decides it’s time to break up the team and head for Sydney. This is the last thing Billy wants, but since he and Lucy have a “will-they-won’t-they” relationship, he needs to declare his true feelings for her if he has any hope that she will stay.
SPIN OUT is a straight down the line, four-on-the-floor, meat-and-potatoes romantic comedy. Ex-Doug Anthony All-Star Tim Ferguson co-directs his debut feature film with Marc Gracie and co-writes with Edwina Exton. The team have set their film in regional Australia, which is unusual for a contemporary Australian comedy. Although comedies set in the outback were common in the 20th Century, they seem to have fallen out of favour, lately. Although the movie uses stereotypes that would not be unfamiliar to anyone who seen a Dad and Dave flick or DIMBOOLA (1979) there is an attempt to take the mickey out of the country and also give a big thumbs up to the Aussie heartland. Given the commercial success of RED DOG (2011) this seems like a savvy strategy for winning over local audiences.
Samuel and Griffin are the attractive and effective leads. Samuel was recently seen acquitting himself well in Whit Stilman’s Austen Adaptation LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (2016). Travis Jeffery is a solid comic foil. The majority of the young cast are new faces to the big screen. We watch their characters attempting to pair off at the annual B&S ball and from here comedy ensues. Billy has this one night to persuade Lucy to stay. All the moves are by the rom-com playbook. You will not be shocked by an unexpected plot twist.
How this plays out for you, will very much depend on how you feel about rom-coms and movies set in the Australian outback. If you’re an urban hipster who loves arthouse comedy stylings and needs to know where your next fair-trade chai is coming from, this film is not likely to be your cup of Russian Caravan tea. Having said that, despite the drifting utes and portaloo gags, this is not an overly-raucous or bawdy comedy. This is slick, commercial stuff that is aimed at a young audience, but older audiences looking for a laidback, non-demanding evening at the pictures, could be entertained, too.
SPIN OUT is screening now in Australian cinemas. It runs for 92 minutes.
Check out AccessReel’s interview with SPIN OUT’s Travis Jeffery here