I am not sure about this casting, and yet I always think of Anne as being someone who can do comedy so this will be interesting I think. I cant be positive yet, but I am always optimistic and believe in David's ability, plus I have lived long enough to know that you just cant make blanket judgements about people or movies so hope always remains!
The drawback I see is unfortunately, there is such vile and a stigma held against Anne Heche over her past struggles with mental illness (and her personal relationships) it colors perceptions about her work. Anne is continually flamed on just about every board on film I've ever seen, and yet for the most part, her work is held separate and generally receives good marks (well not always but on some things yes very much so). While I havent seen her current TV series which is apparently doing well, I thought she was top notch in the excellent Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog, as well as some past television roles, so she is an actress with some talent. I don't pay much mind to all the tabloid fodder that pops up continually about her over the years, for I remember having met her some time ago, and my thoughts are her are different than some of the comments I've read. She did quite a bit of charity work for something I was involved in, and found her to be very warm and funny to everyone involved, certainly no diva, not at all wacko but a genuine decent person, and I am most hopeful filming for Spread will be a good thing for David (and not provide much fodder for the tabs!)
ETA: Entertainment Weekly has now weighed in on this casting, asking readers two questions in a piece in the category "strange bedfellows." lol quotage:
(1) Which couple is odder: Kutcher and Leigh, who dropped out of the project, or Kutcher and Heche? I like that he's steering clear of the Tara Reids and Brittany Murphys — and think he held up OK opposite Amanda Peet in A Lot Like Love and should do fine with Cameron Diaz in this May's What Happens in Vegas — but is Heche (or Leigh) someone you'd picture him acting opposite?
(2) If not, is Kutcher really a leading man? I just had a conversation with a colleague who used the word genius to describe Kutcher's talent as a producer (Punk'd, Beauty and the Geek). She thinks he should work more behind the camera for TV and focus on features that cast him as one of the boys instead of half a couple.
My snark answer: Im just grateful David did not cast Ben Stiller aka the most overused quasi comedic actor out there :P