Spring Breakers shows how staying home is sometimes better

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Franco’s newest production comes off as bad trip for all audiences[/pullquote1]

BY SARA BLANK ’14
Opinion & Editorial Editor

If the most impressive component of a movie is its instrumental Skrillex cover, there might be a problem. I’m going to be honest: I went into Spring Breakers with a very open mind, ready to be shocked and maybe even disturbed by the activities of some college vacationers. But even with attempts to suspend my element of disbelief, there is no possible way that anyone could believe, let alone follow, the plot of this movie.

Harmony Korine’s movie, a blotchy collage of half-scenes, peppered by a soundtrack of James Franco cooing “Spring break” in his best ghetto accent, left little more than confusion in the minds of his audience. Here’s the thing: I went to see this movie with a group of people who have pretty good and wide-ranging senses of humor as well as wide-branching interests and attitudes. Despite our best efforts to either laugh at or take this movie seriously, the general consensus of Spring Breakers was not positive.

Let’s disregard my perceived lack of logic in this movie for a moment. I’m sure there probably are people somewhere in the world that start out as quasi-innocent, albeit slutty, college girls that end up getting jail broken by and joining the gang of a white rapper during their 10-day vacation.

The problem is not that this seems unrealistic to me (although it does) — the problem is that I was barely able to tell that this was the plot of the movie. Overlapping scenes, pounding music, repeated words over non-moving lips, and flashforwards and flashbacks made this movie not only unbearably confusing, but also all together inconceivable. This might have been acceptable if the movie was not also overloaded with a sense of degradation and objectification of women, as well as a slap in the face to anyone who wishes to go on a Spring break adventure sometime in the next 20 years without their parents tracking their telephones with GPS chips.

The biggest loss for me in regards to this movie was the fact that I spent 92 minutes following the lives of these young ladies and, ultimately, knew nothing about them. I gained no insight into their character or personalities, I knew neither whether they were ruthless and perverted or just plain dumb, I barely knew their names until looking them up on IMDB afterwards.

Most upsettingly, there was no conclusion. I’m not saying that there was some unsatisfying cliffhanger ending where we were left wondering, “What did he whisper in her ear?” I’m telling you the movie could have stopped at any given point and it would have felt about the same as the acutal ending.

The moral of this story, to me, is that there is a good kind of “What the hell?” and a bad kind of “What the hell?” in the movie-watching world. The first kind comes from unexpected explosions and plot twists that throw audiences for an unpredictable yet astonishing loop. The second is the kind that echoes throughout the theater from the mouths of most of, if not all of the audience members. This is the “What the hell?” that is evoked from movie-goers who watch the main characters of a movie dance ocean-side in bikinis, sweatpants, and unicorn ski masks, while wielding machine guns and singing a particularly melodic rendition of Britney Spears’s “Everytime.”

Perhaps, however, this movie was successful in one element. These Disney and ABC Family groomed princesses looked to shed their goodie two-shoes images — mission accomplished. Clad in skimpy bathing suits and sweatpants screen-printed with “DTF” on the rear (that is when they were not in pink unicorn ski masks), Selena, Ashley, and Rachel followed down the path of scandal with which Vanessa had already forged.

Wisely, throughout this movie, James Franco shows us the way to not only happiness but also shows us that it does not take a conventional way of life to become successful, stating, “Some kids, they wanna grow up to be president, some kids wanna be doctors, you know? I just wanted to be bad.”

[three_fourth]To be honest, I’d say go see Spring Breakers. It’s nothing if not an experience (and as I mentioned, an educational one at that!), and as long as you’re in for a movie that feels closer to an acid trip than a story, there’s really no better way to remind you that avoiding clothing and involving yourself in the lives of hustling rappers is the only way to have that Spring break you’ve always hoped for.[/three_fourth]
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Review Rating:
C-
Regardless of Spring Breakers’ many shortcomings, it still entertains.

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Questions? Email Sara at sblank@fandm.edu.

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