Spring Breakers Is….Something

1 Apr

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Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Faith (Selena Gomez) are bored by their dull, college girl lives. Brit, Candy and Cotty are wild girls, we know this from the get go. They like to party but apparently the parties at their school aren’t crazy enough for them. Faith doesn’t party; she goes to youth group and seems bored by it. These four girls have been friends a long time, even though they don’t seem to have much in common with Faith anymore. It’s their dream to go to Florida for a week or two of Spring Break debauchery. The get enough money together to go, by a rather shady means, then take off to the beach with all their young, attractive (and mostly topless) friends. The four eventually get arrested at a party on drug related charges but are bailed out of jail by a very suspicious rapper/drug dealer played by James Franco. Shenanigans ensue.

I saw this movie on Saturday night with my dear friend Michelle. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it because I thought it would be similar to “A Scanner Darkly” or some other drug addled movie without a clear storyline. This actually has a very clear, as well as an interesting story. There are moments of pure dread in this movie; more pronounced and effective than any horror movie I’ve ever seen. There are also moments of extreme weirdness where you’re not sure whether to laugh or cringe or just be entertained. Some critics are calling this a social commentary, which I can see in some aspects. You really have to choose for yourself how deep you want to read into it.

I really enjoyed this movie because it’s so different; it’s unconventional and unpredictable. I really liked being surprised by this movie and I especially liked how the viewers’ expectations of these four young females are subverted. And all the boobs didn’t hurt the viewing experience either. Loved how these four girls ultimately weren’t victims at all, and in fact were really the dangerous ones.

There isn’t a lot of dialogue in the movie but the performances are good, especially from Hudgens and Benson, the blonde sociopaths. Franco is also unusually good here, really pushing his limits. Normally I don’t care for Franco, but his performance here is great. He plays the role with this slimy bravado that suggests he’s dangerous, but there’s also an undercurrent of vulnerability; of loneliness.

This movie seems like a love it or hate it kinda deal. I loved how challenging this movie was but you certainly don’t leave feeling uplifted. Even with all the boobs, bikinis and young people. Spring Breakers exposes how vapid and miserable life can be, even on a beach.

Recommendation: See it with an open mind. Expect to be uncomfortable and expect your notions of femininity to be challenged. Expect a wild ride. 

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