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Spring Breakers (2013) photo

Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is like every good girl’s fantasy of being bad turned on its head and twisted into her biggest nightmare. Faith (Selena Gomez) has been friends with Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) since they were in kindergarten. She’s the good girl counterpart to their intimidating fearlessness as the four are shown desperate to come up with the money to get out of their small, boring town and get the spring break experience of a lifetime. The girls (Faith excluded) decide to rob a local diner, and after that it seems like they’ve been transported to paradise (read: some beach town in Florida). Selena Gomez narrates about how she’s “found herself here” as shots of the girls’ sexually charged friendship and partying experiences are shown. So at this point all is well. Until the cops show up at a party the girls were attending, and they have to spend the night in jail. When Alien (James Franco) a glorified coke dealer/youtube rapper with cornrows bails them out, it’s pretty much downhill from there. Selena Gomez cries a lot, James Franco sings a Britney Spears’ song (“Everytime”), and a lot of people get shot.  

Watching a cast of girls that I’d formerly grown up watching on Disney channel rip bongs and snort coke was surprisingly reassuring. I was proud of them. I never would have guessed that Selena Gomez or Vanessa Hudgens would be so fitting for roles like these. I also never would have guessed that I’d be scared of Vanessa Hudgens. One of the best scenes in the film is when Faith inquires as to what actually happened when the other three robbed the diner and Brit and Candy begin the reenactment. Honestly, Hudgens was terrifying. Like, no part of me doubted that her or Benson could rob any place they wanted. Personally, I really identified with Faith, seeing as how I would, without a doubt, be considered the “good girl” of my group of five girlfriends that I grew up with. Another scene that I found fascinating was right before Selena Gomez leaves their spring break extravaganza as the first girl to head home and she’s shown balling her eyes out asking the other girls to go home with her when Alien pulls her aside. Franco is so creepy it actually made me cringe as he strokes her face and tells her “I like you so much, baby” and tries to convince her to stay. Not only was it some of the best acting I’ve seen from Franco (he felt alive here, whereas he seemed perpetually distracted (or bored?) in Oz), it’s definitely the best I’ve seen from Gomez (you just know Justin Bieber is going to have the “shittiest weekend ever” if he sees this film).

I loved everything about the filming of this movie. The editing and music gave it such an out of control feeling, like anything could have happened (and just about everything did). I think that there were a lot of negative reactions to the film because its context is shocking, which it is, but there’s no arguing that the filmmaking is beautiful. Not only that, but the styling of both the girls and Franco was amazing. I saw the movie the day after it came out and immediately after I searched online to buy the Nike hightop dunks that Gomez wore but already they were sold out from every website I tried. I’m obsessed with the movie itself, the combination of hilarity and horror was the perfect balance. To be honest, I’ll actually probably see it a couple more times before those Nikes get restocked.


image: Spring Breakers