Selena’s new movie seems to have critics divided! Some love it, while others didn’t enjoy it at all!
While it’s no secret that we’re totally excited to see Selena Gomez with her co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and James Franco in writer-director Harmony Korine‘s new film Spring Breakers, the reviews that have rolled in after the film made its debut at the 69th Venice Film Festival are decidedly mixed!
Some critics raved about the film, which follows a group of four girls from a small town (Selena, Vanessa, Ashley, and Rachel Korine, Harmony’s wife) as they rob a fast food joint to fund a spring break trip to Florida and join up with a sleazy gangster played by James, while others seemed confused by exactly what Harmony was attempting to do with his film. Here’s a breakdown of the reviews:
“But once the girls make it to Florida for spring break, they get even wilder … and so does Korine. There’s a seemingly limitless supply of sequences where Gomez will call her grandma back home and murmur “We saw some beautiful things here” as Korine cuts to a debauched spring break threesome, or Gomez doing a bong hit, or a shot of all four girls squatting by the side of the road, peeing through their bikini bottoms. It’s silly, and it’s on the nose, and it’s great. And then they meet James Franco.[...] Korine embraces a somewhat more conventional indie-movie cutting style than he has in his past work, but Spring Breakers is still a left-of-center blast from nearly everything else Hollywood puts out…It even manages to make something out of Hudgens, who heads to the basement of her usually vacuous screen persona, lifts a trap door, and descends even further into a nihilistic, f***-it, charismatic kind of place. She may be the real deal…”
Well, like the film as a whole, Franco’s borderline parodistic performance is interesting only up to a point. It may be one of Korine’s more conventional narratives, but this is basically a porn-pulp snort of derision at the American Dream and the youthful search for self, packaged as Beach Blanket Bingo on acid. It has hypnotic visual style and a dense, driving soundscape. But it’s also too monotonous and thematically empty to be seriously provocative.[...]However it’s intended, the attitudinal posing curbs any capacity to shock. From the minute [Franco] steps in, the film becomes like a more extreme version of one of those Saturday Night Live video sketches, with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg flaunting exaggerated hip-hop style. And while Hudgens and Benson evince a persuasive embrace of bad-assery, these psychosexual bunnies have little to do beyond look hot and occasionally fellate a popsicle. Gomez’s character is given a tad more dimension before she exits and is promptly forgotten, but all the characters are thinner than an Olsen twin.
The film is pretty good trash, morally speaking. But it’s not trashily made, with apt performances all round and music and cinematography that suits it perfectly. Boos, catcalls and applause greeted its Venice premiere. Maybe it is supposed to be ironic. But maybe Korine, having for years thought he was John Waters Mark II, now thinks he’s a second Tarantino. One thing’s for sure, Quentin is going to love it.
Fans of Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens be warned: Spring Breakers is not the usual brand of Sunny Delight. Inside you will find perky Gomez – Unicef goodwill ambassador and significant other to Justin Bieber – smoking a bong and talking trash. Inside you shall find winsome Hudgens – formerly of High School Musical fame – toting a pistol and inviting the patrons of her local Chicken Shack to “give me your motherfucking money or I’m going to shoot your fucking brains out”. It’s horrid, it’s ghastly, it’s bizarrely engrossing.[...]Left-field writer-director Harmony Korine’s new picture is quite the weirdest, wildest beast we’ve seen in this year’s Venice competition – a college-kid caper that’s not so much a case of Korine moving to the mainstream as him showing us just how woozy and debauched the mainstream can be.
Ever since a glossy billboard was hoisted over the Croisette at Cannes earlier this year depicting the film’s formerly wholesome young starlets pouting in fluorescent bikinis, there has been a hushed sense of expectation surrounding the project: as the writer of Larry Clark’s famously explicit 1995 drama Kids, just how far would Korine go? Well, the answer is not nearly far enough: beneath its Terry Richardson-esque porn chic surface, Spring Breakers is no racier than a mainstream Hollywood teen comedy, and Korine doesn’t seem to know what to do with his film’s incredibly timely, potentially dangerous premise. For a generation with ready access to the internet, the sex or violence is depressingly tame, too: a swimming pool ménage-a-trois between Hudgens, Benson and Franco even verges on the snuggly.
It’s not so much that Spring Breakers is bad as much as it isn’t really all that good. It’s one of those films that will likely be reviled by most, find cult status with others and get a shrug of the shoulders from the rest. I fall in the latter group, finding comedy in some parts of it (mainly James Franco as a gold toothed rapping drug dealer) and being largely underwhelmed in other areas. Written and directed by Harmony Korine (Trash Humpers) this movie is more of an exploitation feature than anything else and at the same time rather experimental. For as often as the lead characters are on drugs, it begins to feel as if so was Korine while making it.[...]Grade: C+
Though the film is heavy on breasts and bullets, its violence and sexual content are unlikely to threaten R-rated boundaries, while an early girl-on-girl kiss is tamer than any sung about by Katy Perry. Casting the wholesome Gomez as Faith, with tabloid-sullied “High School Musical” alum Hudgens as the more rebellious Candy, is a reasonably clever wink, though the stunt hasn’t much of a shelf life, and both actresses deserve more to play with.
Well, one thing is for sure: This film sounds weird and wild! We can’t wait to see it!
Are you excited to see Spring Breakers, HollywoodLifers?
– Billy Nilles
More ‘Spring Breakers’ News:
- Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens Stun At Venice ‘Spring Breakers’ Premiere
- ‘Spring Breakers’ Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson in Venice
- Selena Gomez’s ‘Spring Breakers’ To Premiere At Venice Film Festival