Spring Breakers – Selena As Naughty As Bieber Always Wished – Review

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Photo Courtesy A24

Spring Breakers can make you feel the end of Western Civilization is nigh.

Brit (Ashley Benson), Cotty (Rachel Korine), Faith (Selena Gomez) and Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) are four college gals who dream of heading off to Spring Break in Florida.  They just can’t wait to be part of the hedonism, but they don’t have the cash to pay for it (money is such a pesky thing).

Instead of working hard and saving up the greenbacks, Brit, Cotty and Candy rob a local diner to fund the trip of a lifetime.  Faith, the one who goes to Bible study and, obviously, is questioning faith in every way, decides she can accept how they scored the booty (because you can never let morality stand in the way of a great kegger), so the four are off to Florida, but their taste for danger leads them to Alien (James Franco) – a rapper and gansta who thinks the four young gals can help his criminal enterprises.

Before you start to think this is some modern day Where The Boys Are, remember how college age kids act in modern day, and leave your little princess at home with re-runs of Wizards of Waverly Place.  This is not a fluffy comedy.  Spring Breakers is about as hardcore as you can get without scoring an NC-17 or a few XXX ratings.

I guess the saddest and most infuriating aspect of Spring Breakers is how all four of these female actors feel the need to prove they are grown up and edgy by engaging in the most debased debauchery around.  It is insulting to them as human beings. Can’t growing up mean maturity and responsibility, or is that just too much of a bummer and a buzzkill?  Is writer/director Harmony Korine so brilliant he is mocking the very people who will embrace the most audacious scenes in Spring Breakers as nirvana or a life-long aspiration?

If that is the case, I wish he was a better director and writer.  Korine presents a mish mash of images without any meaningful dialogue.  He is more interested in displaying every naked breast in Florida than telling a story as Korine mixes up the timeline at every juncture to make the film feel more arty, but without the impact this kind of foreshadowing should have.  It becomes more of a hallucination than movie, and one that cares more about shock value.

And, Franco gets some of the silliest dialogue in the history of the world.  You gotta love the thespian for completely committing to the ridiculousness of his character and the movie, which continues to make me wonder if this is a celebration or condemnation of the lifestyle.  Of course, a better movie wouldn’t leave us wondering.

I know we have heard all sorts of outrage that Gomez and Hudgens are leading their young fan base into the Sodom and Gomorrah of movies, but blame the parents for any tween you see walking into the theater.  It is horrifying for any parent to think for a moment this extremely R-rated movie is appropriate for kids, and any of them who sneak in to see the movie are the real fools for taking the bait.

0waffles_sml0 Waffles (Out of 4)

Spring Breakers is rated R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence throughout

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1 Comment

  • Devin

    "…continues to make me wonder if this is a celebration or condemnation of the lifestyle. Of course, a better movie wouldn’t leave us wondering."

    Isn't the ambiguity what makes the film so intellectually troubling in the first place, and don't some of the greatest films "leave us wondering?" You have to appreciate a filmmaker that respects a viewer enough to leave alone the obvious.

    Whether Harmony Korine has any respect for Spring Breaker's marketing demographic is another question altogether.