Movie Review: Spring Breakers

Last month, thousands of former “spring breakers” poured into theatres with the intention of reliving those special memories they had experienced in the previous weeks. Staying up late by the pool…watching the sunset…dancing and singing in a parking lot…robbing a wedding…murdering a whole house of drug lords while a dreadlocked James Franco plays Britney Spears on a piano…

The last two might seem to be a bit of a stretch, but so is most of the plot of Spring Breakers. The movie describes the journey of four college girls (portrayed by Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, and Rachel Korine) who, after robbing what I assume to be a Waffle House in lingerie and pink ski masks, travel to the most beautiful place in the world: St. Petersburg, Florida. Here, the girls “find themselves” by doing copious amounts of drugs while taking a tour of many of the beautiful hotel rooms along the gorgeous coastline. They meet many interesting characters along the way: people who love jumping, people who love screaming, people who love jumping and screaming, and prostitutes. Sometime in between the nighttime scooter driving, sunset staring, and parking lot butcherings of Britney Spear’s songs, the girls decide they never want to go back home and instead want to stay in this Lana Del Ray music video world.

Unfortunately, the Florida police have other plans; they arrest the girls on drug charges and keep them there until aspiring rapper James Franco bails them out. Gomez’s character finds the godlessness of Western Florida appalling and leaves her friends. She is soon followed by Korine’s character, who begins to question whether or not she and her friends are making good choices after she is shot in arm. This leaves Hudgens’ and Benson’s characters, who soon become James Franco’s cronies in his war against his rival in the drug trade played by Gucci Mane, who appears as if he accidentally walked onto the set on his way to speech therapy class. The plot climaxes in a bloody battle between the two warring factions, leaving many characters dead and even more movie-goers confused.

The main cast of Spring Breakers.

The main cast of Spring Breakers.

The plot of the movie is somewhat is difficult to follow due to the random cut scenes of violence and drug use that occur at different times during the girls’ extended vacation in St. Petersburg. Once you get over the initial shock of seeing former child stars in surprisingly risqué situations, however, you may be able to appreciate the dark, artistic manner in which director Harmony Korine portrays modern society. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get over the shock of seeing Selena Gomez doing drugs or watching as Vanessa Hudgens engages in a drug-fueled sexual liaison in a pool, so you might as well sit back and watch your childhood crumble before your eyes.

Since there was a slight delay in the writing of this article, it would be unrealistic for me to recommend that you go out and try and find a place that Spring Breakers is still playing. Instead try to find it on Netflix, unless you want to start thinking of excuses in case a parent, grandparent, or youth minister finds it. Or worse, if a younger sibling mistakes it for the direct-to-DVD High School Musical-Camp Rock crossover she has always wished for and shoots up a houseful of drug dealers because she “wants to be like Gabriella”.

The two things I can take out of watching this cultural phenomenon is that Spring Break never ends if you keep telling yourself that, and that the chances of surviving a visit to St. Petersburg, Florida are 30%. Compared to Universal Studios’ 45%, it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of the state known so fondly as “God’s Waiting Room”.

— Ian Corbet, Arts Editor

Posted by on April 22, 2013. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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