Movies: Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers seems to be the movie everyone’s talking about this week. And, why not? It has oodles of beautiful barely-clothed — if clothed at all — bodies partying on the beach in St. Petersburg, FL. Among those bodies are Disney Channel queens Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. In this movie we see that they’ve clearly grown up and grown boobs, too. They are Faith (Gomez) and Candy (Hudgens), two college students who go on spring break with their friends Brit (Ashely Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine). To raise the money for the trip, they rob a restaurant and, if they ever had any morals at all, they toss them away as casually as they toss away their clothes.

On spring break in St. Petersburg, from left, Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy,( Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Faith (Selena Gomez) get arrested and appear in court.
Photo: Courtesy of Spring Breakers.

In Florida they are arrested and are bailed out by a strange, silver-grilled gangsta rapper called Alien (James Franco). They set out with him to have a memorable vacation — but they are good girls and often call home — and are apparently willing to try drugs, group sex and all sorts of adventures of that kind.

The problem with this movie is that there is little or no story. It’s as if th actors were not given a script but, rather, just told to go on set and party or steal or do whatever. There are lots of bodies in evidence but almost no brains. In fact, Spring Breakers looks as if it was shot with a very good cell phone. It makes no sense and, having friends who are big fans of writer/director Harmony Korine, I was anticipating this movie. Silly me.

The movie unfolds slowly, building up to a confrontation with Alien’s rival. When it finally arrives, it is a letdown. Gomez and Franco are the two cast members who give some life to their characters. Of all the girls, Gomez is actually allowed to act and we see and fee her excitement, pain and disillusionment. Franco, unlike his turn in Oz, the Great and Powerful does not walk through the film, making motions but not acting. He id a total surprise and was fun to watch.

But, on the whole, if Spring Breakers is Harmony Korine’s bid to get into mainstream filmmaking, for his sake let’s hope he gets another chance.