Not really a new movie, but a very weird one. Come on suffer through it with me …
Four college girls hold up a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation. While partying, drinking, and taking drugs, they are arrested, only to be bailed out by a drug and arms dealer.
Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper “Alien” promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.
Of the two synopsises above the first one is short and not giving us much info but at least it’s more honest than the second one that was obviously made to trick audiences into the theatres. Both are missing the point anyway. And, tell you what, it doesn’t even matter. The whole plot is secondary, just a vehicle to transport some sorta message. Hubby and me are still busy trying to figure it out. Or we would be if we hadn’t given up on analyzing this polished turd.
But we’ve learned something from watching this C-movie, probably not intended by its director and writer, Harmony Korine, but clearly to see for us. What we took home from this flick was a deep sadness. Sad that all our European experiences and prejudices have been confirmed in a single little shitty film.
But ok, first things first, the technicalities: Spring Breakers was filmed and directed like an elongated music video. Of course it’s clear and obvious. Thousands of swim fashion models with drink and drugs make first rate MTV material. Problem with this POV is that Mr. Korine kept at it all thru the movie. So even when our teenies are in court and thrown in jail they do so in the most stylish way. It’s kinda hard feeling any sorry for those silly cows, when they are draped so picturesque and half nekkid on their prison bunks.
On the other hand I gotta say the acting was quite ok, which shouldn’t have been a huge prob for the girls, among them Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens – they were basically playing themselves ffs! Especially good was James Franco as the bad guy. He tried Snoop Dogg coolness and surprisingly got away with it. Easily his best weird work yet.
It must be said, the seedy underbelly of Florida, the ultimate sadness of the overly flamboyant teenie culture was shown quite well in Spring Breakers. The atmosphere, achieved by overly aggressive use of colour filters, was the right kind of sunny and seedy.
But here’s where the positives stopping for me: The time jumps, the many repetitions, the mostly brainless babble of all characters, the wannabe deep phone calls to family members, this was all too much, painted with a thick brush where a fine fountain pen was needed.
Harmony Korine obviously thought his target audience was the same as the portrayed party-hungry and ruthless kidz, and with that wrong perception he signed the death penalty for his movie. Coz teenies wanna watch funny comedies or horror slashers, while mature and the fabled YA audiences expect to find a bit more ham in their sandwiches. Spring Breakers failed to deliver on all aspects.
We could acknowledge, this was intended to be a work of independent movie art, there was love put into the project. But it never showed.
Now back to what I personally got from Spring Breakers: Haven’t we discussed the differencess in upbringing of kids in Europe and America? So you should also recognize all the repressed emotions, the stunted development, the forced uniformity and the desperate ways to escape the earnesty of being human beings by the American youth. Of course when you’re under pressure and being regulated, controlled and spied on 24/7, when you’re not allowed a natural growth, than whole generations of young people are freaking out and getting totally out of control at the very few occasions where they are allowed relative freedom, such as the fabled spring break in sunny Florida.
Of course when you are only allowed to consume alcohol in the ripe age of 21, when you’re driven to school by schoolbus or by your parents, when you live in dorms even when already in college or uni, you can’t develop into an self-reliant, independent adult in any normal way. And the sad result of this repressive culture shows in bad flicks like Spring Breakers. All the persons in the movie were around, physically at least, 18-21 or so, but basically still kidz in society’s eyes and their own underdeveloped minds.
CONCLUSION: Who doesn’t love a summery romcom with a bunch of fruity bikini girls and James Franco? And if Spring Breakers was anything like that it could’ve been a decent flick. Unfortunately Harmony Korine wanted to create a piece of indy art … and failed badly. 😦
Chris Stuckmann liked it. But what does he know?
Mark Kermode: “Self-indulgent and full of itself.”
Grace thinks it’s Harmony Korine’s best work. Haha, so what? Far as I know he only produced shit until Spring Breakers. But she agrees with me that James Franco is great in this.