Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★★

I got Scarface. On repeat. SCARFACE ON REPEAT. Constant, y'all!

The casting for Spring Breakers feels like it's part of the story. With most of the young girls having somewhat similar film and television reputations, it could be argued that they represent what happens when "good girls" pursue the hedonistic escapes that spring break represents. They don't all play "good girls" in the film, but I can't help think that the casting is part of the message at hand.

Their spring break starts off normal enough, depending on who you are, then excess upon excess gets piled on to the breaking point. That's when we meet Alien played by James Franco, a rapper/drug dealer/gangster, that is easily the highlight of the film and one of the most entertaining characters Franco has ever played. His presence in the film greatly influenced my enjoyment of the it.

Selena Gomez plays the closest thing to a good girl in the bunch. Rachel Korin, the director's wife, seems to be relegated to the most promiscuous in some scenes that you fully expect to take a turn for the worst. Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson basically play the same perverse psychotic characters that could be interchanged in any scene of the film with no consequence. None of these characters are likable. The last three for obvious reasons, but even Gomez's good girl Faith is so overwhelmingly naive and delusional that you're happy when something bad finally happens to her so she can shut up about "freezing time" because it's a perfect moment.

With that said, I don't think viewers are supposed to like any of these characters. We witness their personalities go to the land of decadence where there are no limits for those who have no idea when to stop. We witness what it takes to break some of them, while others seemed to revel in the fact that their seems to be no consequence to any of their actions.

The entire film feels like a surreal dream or that we're experiencing it through the girls' hazed memories. The "fucked upness" of the film slowly creeps up on you. There's a point in the film where Alien (Franco) is playing Britney Spears' Everytime on a white grand piano that is located outside his waterfront property surrounded by the girls wearing pink unicorn ski masks with automatic weapons in their hands and it all feels like a perfectly natural progression in the film. Writer/director Harmony Korine deserves some sort of recognition for pulling that off, no?

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