Spring Breakers

25 Mar

It’s March 24 and it snowed. And though I realize I am living in Cleveland, Ohio this is unacceptable. So I decided to go on a vacation, to see Spring Breakers. Now if I was a teenage boy the opening scene of about 30 pairs of bouncing boobs would’ve been a great vacation, but alas I am not. Luckily, the plot expanded beyond the montage of college aged partiers drinking beer bongs and keg stands. (Though this did made me nostalgic for simpler, sloppier days.)

Spring Breakers (3/22/13)

Also, I must apologize to all my friends that I dragged to this movie. Not because it was bad because of their expectations. Apparently James Franco is a comedian and one friend thought this was a comedy while another thought it was going to be similar to Pineapple Express. Yet, I quickly tried to fill them in the premise of the movie but also the director; Harmony Korine. Korine is known for his cinematic darker intense and real films such as Kids and Gummo. So I was intrigued in this movie for the raw reality of spring break and the crime scene in south Florida. I am still continuing on this journey of being more cultured and expanding my tastes in movies, music, art, etc. After reading an intriguing interview in Entertainment Weekly a few weeks back about this movie I wanted to see it. And I am very satisfied with my choice.

Now there have been reported reviews of this movie. People magazine think it’s less than par with 1.5 out 4 stars yet their review says it perfectly from my point of view:

“Director Harmony Korine’s scenes are so artfully shot, they’re poetic. It’s his taste that’s gross, as scores of girls, topless as often as not, writhe around in beer-drench insanity from his lurid lens.”

Both of these sentences are right on. The scenes of girls and sex were “appropriate” for the first 10 montages, however the message or meaning or whatever it was supposed to be was lost half way through. I felt like I wanted to scream, “I get it, the people are wild, careless and free, but enough with the tits.” I felt like in those scenes and through some of the voice overs by Faith (Selena Gomez’s character) that this beach town hot spot was to be portrayed as the place to go to forget your problems. You could be whoever you wanted and do whatever you wanted while you were there, you could be carefree. Free as boobs without a bra – which you saw a ton of. Maybe we are boobs of life and it was all a metaphor. Or he was a male director who just wanted to watch boobs. I don’t know, but I had enough.

Yet it is also true that his shots and directing were amazing. There were many shots in which the dialogue repeated numerous times, which was a great effect. There were great clips of Gomez speaking on the phone to her grandma about this “magical place”. It was quite entrancing to listen to and think about. The other girls made you really wonder how they got to that point in their life. The point where they felt no guilt for robbing a restaurant blind and killing innocent people. (Innocent used loosely…) It made you think how someone could feel so lonely that they would pack up and leave everything. At the same time I felt hope for those girls and hope that they would change their ways. In some aspects they did and others they kept going down that path. Where were their parents? Friends? Future? How did they get to this place and how were they to get out? But I guess on Spring Break it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, or where you are going. You live in the moment, do what you and want and just have the time of your life. (Just like below, dancing free in neon outfits.)

Being free as Spring Breakers

Just remember, don’t do cocaine off of a naked girl in a hotel, that crosses the line apparently. But have no fear, even if you do James Franco dressed as a scary white gangsta with the rattiest dreads ever seen on the big screen. Though at first he seems scary, and pets Gomez on her face like a little pet which leads her to tears. After a while you realize he is just following his dream, the American dream. He has power, money, sex. Isn’t that what everyone wants? There seems to be no morals in this place. And too many uncomfortable scenes with guns, and certain sexual innuendos. In a strange way Franco plays a comedic side to his character, and protects himself from sunburn with Dark Tanning Oil… You want to hate him and think he will be coercing these young girls. Then you realize they are just as lost and lonely as he is. They are his true soulmates.


The biggest problem with this movie was the lack of subtle outfits worn by these people. If you’re going to rob people please don’t wear pink ski masks with unicorns on it. Law school has taught me that those are easily seen and traceable. I mean who else would happen to have those. Go for traditional black. Also, avoid the neon yellow bathing suit in the last scene, if you’re going to assist in a mass murder I would want to blend in. Finally, I do not believe that Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Brit (Ashley Benson) learned that highly advanced gun skills and precision. Maybe I am wrong and maybe gangsta rubs off just that quickly.

Entertainment Weekly may be sponsored by Spring Breakers, or I guess the other way around, because they gave the movie an A-. However, 2 weeks in a row Owen Gleiberman has stayed strong on this rating. I would probably go for B. I loved the style and the psychological placing throughout the movie. You feel for these girls and you grow to hope for the best. You see the movie from their perspective and their eyes as they commit these crimes. Maybe people won’t appreciate Korine’s style as this is one of his first mainstream films, but hopefully people will appreciate his true art and vision. But there is a little something for everyone as they play respect to Britney Spears with a great cover done by Franco & Co. It’s something different than the typical rom com or next comic book turned blockbuster. Would definitely avoid taking a first date on this movie, and especially with your parents. But if you have time or a free evening, go see it. At least it’ll be a great opening line at your next party.

"Spring Breakers" Premiere - Arrivals - 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

(Here is at least a nice image of these young ladies. A better ending for them here I hope.)

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