Written and Directed by Harmony Korine
Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and James Franco
Faith: I’m so tired of seeing the same thing every single day. Everything is the same and everyone is just sad.
I should preface this review by saying that I myself have never personally been on spring break. I’ve never been too heavy a drinker or been too keen on exposing myself in public, so the concept never appealed to me. And, after seeing Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS, I have to say I’m very happy to have missed the experience. If it is anything at all like Korine’s booze, drugs and sex fueled contemplation on the subject, I’m surprised any responsible parents allow their children to partake in it. Past that, if it is anywhere near as violent as Korine insinuates, I’m surprised it hasn’t just been banned from happening altogether. Kids will be kids though so spring break will live on. I cannot say the same for SPRING BREAKERS though.
Korine exploded onto the film scene when he wrote the screenplay to Larry Clark’s infamous KIDS, when he himself was just a kid. Since that time, he has gone on to write and direct some obscure art flicks (GUMMO, MISTER LONELY) but has never come close to courting the mainstream until now. SPRING BREAKERS is arguably Korine’s most accessible film, as it stars unlikely party girls, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, as well as Academy Award nominee, James Franco. That said, any mainstream college kid looking for a good party film with a little gratuitous nakedness is in for a big shock when they see this. There is plenty of partying and plenty of nudity in SPRING BREAKERS, but there is also very little dialogue and very little plot to speak of either. Korine pieces together the film like one long montage designed to highlight the moral decay of America’s youth. He makes his point more often than not but will any of the intended audience actually hear it?
Earlier this year, Korine turned 40. His debut was celebrated for its frighteningly honest examination of urban youth. Twenty years later though, Korine does not have the direct connection to his subject he had then and his idea of spring break is perhaps just as far removed as mine is. As we watch the beautiful bodies bouncing up and down along the beach time and time again, it is never clear whether Korine is sitting there in judgment or just sitting there enjoying the view. And then, when the party starts to wind down, as they tend to do but, as Korine suggests, the youth of today seem uninterested in acknowledging, Korine realizes he has nowhere left to go and takes SPRING BREAKERS on an unexpected break of its own from its original premise. Like the kids he writes about, Korine too needs to work harder on his ability to focus.