When I heard that there was a new movie coming out where a collection of former Disney Channel tween stars were seemingly going to play the hos of a rap artist’s music video, I thought that it was a satirical joke of some kind. Surely something this bizarre must be a fabrication, I thought. I then saw that the film was directed by the guy who made Trash Humpers, and the million piece jigsaw puzzle fell instantly into place.
Yes, apparently Harmony Korine is still around and his latest movie is Spring Breakers; a bizarre little movie that takes us on a whimsical journey alongside characters that seem to go out of their way to perfectly mimic the kind of teenagers I hated growing up around the most: people whose top concern is seemingly their desire to get as high, drunk and pregnant as possible before life is over, which, at their age, is usually believed to be around age 30. In English: they’re morons.
These characters are Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) – four college friends who are almost as bereft or brain cells as they are of personality traits. They venture through almost the entire movie wearing nothing but bikinis. I can’t decide if this is supposed to be arousing or shocking but if I know Harmony Korine right he probably just “felt like it”. Either way, these girls aim to make the most of their annual spring break and try to party as hard as humanly possible whilst also stealing money. But alas, like most people who share that mentality, the four friends shortly end themselves up in custody under charges of drug use. Cue the awkward trombone.
Ah, but there is hope, for a thug that gives Vanilla Ice a run for his white-ness comes in and bails them out. He calls himself Alien and is played by James Franco, doing his best “white guy imitating black guy” impression, and he offers them the most fun and party-centric life out there… y’all. As if it weren’t predictable enough, though, Alien is revealed to be a large criminal and he has some pretty dirty plans for the pretty unsuspecting college friends and the lengths they will have to go to in order to fulfil their spring break dreams become uncertain. It would’ve been more interesting if Alien was actally revealed to be, well, an alien.
I think the film would only work as a joke on South Park, if they were to make an episode that satirically documents the “current whereabouts” of former child actors. It would work fine as a hilarious gag about how they seemingly went from wholesome family entertainment to slutty rap videos on MTV and movies that were made by the Ken Park guy. The film would’ve maybe come close to making me laugh in such a manner if the lead girls had in fact been playing themselves. (“Ha ha, they think talking about sex makes them adults. How delightfully quirky.”)
Mostly, though, I was having a hard time figuring out if I were supposed to laugh or feel shocked or both. I couldn’t take it seriously, no, but I didn’t laugh an awful lot either. I’m talking mainly about James Franco’s odd “thug” dialect (which, humorously, makes him sound more like a Valleysman from Cloud Atlas) and the attempts by the young girls to sound tough, which wouldn’t be as difficult to stomach, were it not for the established stereotypes of the actors playing them. On that note, I’m sure they’ve all grown a little since the Disney days, but some of them (and I dunno why) look much too young for me to be interested in seeing them do things even Nicki Minaj would consider “trying too hard”. Some of the visuals in the movie reminded me of Enter The Void; a much better sex and drugs film.
With some bright colors, music by artists such as Skrillex and lots of dialogue that may seem brainless to me but is probably deeply profound to the world’s party animals, the only people I can recommend this movie to is the same kind of people it’s about. It may shock you to read, but I actually have been to parties and I have encountered people like this (which is not something I brag about too often), so for what it’s worth, I guess the film is at least an accurate portrayal of what some people are like at this point in their lives. What may be a horror film to some, I’m sure can be enjoyed by others as a documentary.
To me, though, Spring Breakers is just a film where you sit with your head resting upon your hand for 90 minutes, thinking “Gee, what generic ‘party animal’ phrase will they spew next?”. Whether the intent behind the content was to shock the system, or to give young people something to enjoy, or even to inspire said young people to find a new film to steal quotes from when bragging about their vomit-filled party weekends, the only thing I find schocking about the movie is that it exists.
“Spring break forever, bitches” – every party animal that saw this movie.