jgarron’s review published on Letterboxd:
I don't really know what to say about this. It seemed to do what most people said it would do by being a kind of ironic mocking of this current generation who seem to be almost obsessed with this party craze. This can be seen in the actual, serious movies like Project X or 21 and Over where people actually think this is a good time and awesome. This film instead seems to show it as what it is, some sort of desperate attempt at avoiding reality. The main characters even say that themselves that everything at school is the same, they want something different, they want to find themselves and live. Yet for some reason the only thing that they think will get them to this new life is going to spring break and partying. To me it got me thinking about life, is it static, held in one place and do we want to change that? I think the answer to this is probably yes. People always want to find something new in order improve their lives, yet I don't think partying it up and getting high and drunk grinding on people is the answer. My interpretation of this film is that Korine was trying to say this as well and show almost how pathetic it all seems to be. This whole spring break, party generation just seems to be an escape from reality but that is all it is. it does not improve you at all or makes your life all that better. It is just a momentary escape from real life and that is probably why Gomez's character talked about wanting to stop life and time and stay in this moment. They don't want reality but instead prefer this fake, hollow party life. Why I also noticed is that it seemed almost like the bus and the highway was almost like a division of reality and this party. Once you cross the bridge it is no longer real life, it is like stepping into a video game or a movie. You leave all your concerns at the door and let loose. When two of the girls go home and take the bus you can see this as it is when they seem to be brought back into reality that they realize they must leave. Everything is fun and games until one gets shot in the arm and makes the realization that this is not some escape from reality but is part of it. Everything they do is real and has real consequences. While two of the characters snap out of it, the other two and Alien don't. They rely on this party culture and underground of debauchery to define them and thus seem empty inside. All Alien seems to care about is wealth and power and hot bitches. This is what the "american dream" is supposed to be yet it seems almost pathetic. The worst thing is that he drags these girls down with him. There is no irony from the characters or hidden motives to reveal who they really are underneath. There is no underneath. They actually accept this to be how life should be and as the greatest time of their lives. They treat it like a video game, as they kept repeating in the film. Of course I may be interpreting this film completely wrong and missing the real point of it but this is what I took away from it. It shows this generation as being almost brainwashed into thinking this is the proper way to really live and find yourself but when exposed like this it shows just how pathetic it seems to be. This may have to do with the fact that I am not personally caught up with people or like to constantly go to the clubs and party or get drunk on a regular basis. I usually just stay home with my housemates and play FIFA. And while I feel happy and think that this is perfect this is a part of me that kind of wishes that I did have a bunch of mates I could go to a party with and just go crazy. It seems like that has been pushed on this generation that you are expected to party and go crazy and if you don't you haven't lived. This film helps to show how pathetic that view point actually is. Honestly I would prefer just having a couple of pints with my mates at the pub instead of going to some big kegger and getting slizzard like a G6. This was a well made and surprisingly well acted. There definitely seems to be some message underlying the whole film and I'm not sure if I got it but that is the major talking point of this film. Some will think this is garbage and a waste of time and money others will think it has a great message that is executed perfectly and one that needed to be said. One final thing I will say is thank god this movie came out because it finally gave me an excuse to go to the theater for the first time since the beginning of January. All the movies that have come out this year just looked like shite and I had no interest in any of them so hopefully this movie starts off the charge of some good movies this year cause it has been a painfully slow one so far.