Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Breakers

It felt appropriate that Sofia Coppola's upcoming "The Bling Ring" had the last trailer before Harmony Korine's OMG-what-was-that "Spring Breakers." Korine's film aims, I think, for the unexpected truthfulness of Coppola's great "Somewhere," teasing out the layers of humanity in four co-eds who steal their professor's car and rob a diner at gunpoint to get the money to get down to Florida for Spring Break. (Selena Gomez, charming in 2011's "Monte Carlo," continues to show promise as Faith, the most introspective and godfearing of the girls.)

For all its hot bodies writhing in the South Beach sun, though, "Spring Breakers" most comes to life in its second half, when James Franco's wiggerish "Alien" bails the tetrad out of County and takes them to his crib - a garishly furnished arsenal with Benjamins strewn about the floor like sawdust - with promises of "spring break forever." Franco's doing an SNL skit here, but a great one, laugh-out-loud funny - the most fully realized vision of a white rapper since Brian Austin Green on the original "90210."

"Spring Breakers" doesn't achieve the emotional resonance Korine hopes for with his deadly climax (nothing for Chekhov to fear here; all the guns go off). But he's succeeded formidably in making a film that nobody who sees it will soon forget.

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