Viau’s View/Scott Viau
For a film starring James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, the latter of which are known from their appearances on The Disney Channel, one might think the end result would be something that would have mass appeal and make $100 million dollars at the box office. That’s not the case with “Spring Breakers,” which features a somewhat non-linear narrative showing the degradation and moral destruction of four girls on a spring break getaway.
Faith, Candy, Brit and Cotty are girls who have one thing on their mind (with the exception of Faith): spring break. And for them, it doesn’t matter how they get there as long as they do. When they realize they don’t have enough money to be able to support their trip, they do what any teenage girl would do: rob a restaurant and its patrons. With the money they need now in hand, they head to Florida to lay in the sun, drink copious amounts of alcohol and party with all the boys. But their fun in the sun is quickly put to an end when the girls are arrested. Luckily for them, a silver-toothed, tattoo-laden, gun-toting gangster named Alien springs them from the joint. Under his criminal tutelage, the girls will either flourish or be sent back home with their G-strings between their legs.
While “Spring Breakers” may sound like it’s thickly plotted, it’s really not. Watching the movie, I felt like a voyeur peeking in on a life I’ll never know.
“Spring Breakers” was written and directed by Harmony Korine, a man and director of the acclaimed indie film “Gummo” and the writer of “Kids.” Korine has been quoted that he wants his films to make a perfect nonsense, and while “Spring Breakers” isn’t as stream-of-conscious as his other films, it does tend to jump around in its portrayal of events.
I honestly don’t know if Korine likes or dislikes his characters. There’s something fascinating about them and how vain and shallow they are. Yet all the girls genuinely care for each other. They just simply like to get as much pleasure from life and go to any extreme to get it. I like to think that “Spring Breakers” is more of a commentary on the instant gratification society we’ve become.
Given the all-star Disney Channel lineup, I was really surprised by the performances, especially from Selena Gomez. I wasn’t expecting her to have the acting chops that she displayed. But I think some of that might have come from Korine’s direction rather than Gomez’s actual ability. James Franco gives a stellar performance as Alien, a fitting name considering the unknown world he pulls the girls into. He’s ridiculous and dangerous at the same time and you’re never quite sure of what his ultimate motivation was for bailing the girls out of jail.
I think most people aren’t going to like this movie, especially if you’re offended by almost constant female nudity. I can’t even say that I liked it. It’s more of an experimental film. I’m glad that I watched it at least once, but I can’t imagine myself ever wanting to revisit it.