The girls in Spring Breakers must be freshmen. They are still fascinated by the idea of beer, they think St. Petersburg, Florida is magical, and they frequently break out into inexplicable shrieks. Based on its usage, their favorite word is, “Woo!” I would love to see the movie which shows their lives when they get kicked out of school for failing grades, discover their first STD, and getting robbed while waitressing by girls they used to look like a few years ago.
Other than Selena Gomez who has a distinctive face and character, Faith (the good girl), it is hard to tell the other three girls apart. It is not necessary to tell one from another because they have no personality, barely any dialogue, and are really the same interchangeable person. In other words, the characters played by Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine are completely vacuous caricatures of real-life drunken college girls.
We have no idea where the girls are from, but it is remote enough that St. Petersburg feels like Rio to them. They have no money and even less ability to budget for a spring break trip. Instead, the three nameless and faceless character travesties rob an out-of-the-way diner to fund the bus ride, beer, weed, and hotel room. They get busted for what they believe is partying too hard and get bailed out by Alien (James Franco).
Let me tell you about Alien. First, he tells people his name is Alien. His teeth are solid silver, his white boy hair is in cornrows, he has a dollar sign tattoo on his neck, a teardrop tattoo under his eye, and can play Britney Spears on the piano. The girls eat this act up. They love the cash, the drugs, the arsenal of assault rifles, and the way Alien jumps up and down on his bed yelling, “Check out my shit!” I suppose he is the film’s cautionary tale; if girls go to St. Petersburg and party too hard, a guy named Alien will become their unbalanced sugar daddy.
Writer/Director Harmony Korine, who wrote Kids back in 1995, tries to recapture what made Kids so controversial and edgy; but he fails completely. Kids was a wake up call; a serious story about an adrift younger generation. Spring Breakers is about some girls who mistake substance abuse, armed robbery, and an idealized version of ‘gangsta’ culture as good times and everlasting memories.
Korine also needs to invest in a new editor. The girls hardly have anything to say because whenever they utter a sentence, it gets repeated at least another 19 times. Scenes jump ahead to show the aftermath of an event and then fills in what happened through flashbacks. People usually complain about style over substance, but in the case of Spring Breakers, there is no substance and a nauseating, distracting style.
Spring Breakers is so over-the-top and ridiculous that if Korine actually had an agenda for social commentary about the dangers today’s youth face, it never comes out. I bet there never was any intention at all for a serious conversation to be had after watching this movie. Korine just thought beer, drugs, boobs, and a familiar dub-step soundtrack would score some money off those same teenagers stumbling back to their dorms this week from the beach.