An amiable dimwit working-class comedy, “Spin the Bottle” snuggles itself a wee bit too comfortably into tired routines. Centered on a ragamuffin and loveable recidivist named Rats, an appealing character originally developed by writer/actor Michael McElhatton in a popular Irish TV series, pic sports a strong cast manfully struggling to keep the overextended skit afloat. Unaccountably satirizing a succession of obsolete trends, from singing nuns to satanic rock groups, “Bottle” appears unlikely to translate into off-Isle biz.
Upon his latest release from Montjoy prison, Rats find his home invaded by guitar-strumming nuns and assorted pious cripples (one of whom dumps his crutches to abscond with the money collected to send Rats’ dangerously obese aunt to Lourdes). A series of flings with gainful employment attest to Rats’ chronic social cluelessness. Rats reassembles his former rock band, Spermdotcom, and crashes a TV music contest, blowing away the competition with his composition “Miracles Not Slimming Pills.” He wins and in the process lands the band in the slammer and further demonstrates the dubious wisdom of using a running-gag as a cinematic structuring principle.