Poised somewhere between parodying the TMZ-fueled scandalizing of our young actresses and totally reveling in it, here is the relentlessly jiggly, Disney Girls Gone Wild montage that is Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, a film that our own Scott Tobias described as “hyperbolically stupid.” Still, let’s face it: Scott doesn’t understand spring break, bitches, that magical week of academic respite wherein every college student takes seven days to crank up the Skrillex, wear bikinis around the clock (even to your court date), and indulge in a never-ending bacchanal of booze, lesbian experimentation, and armed robbery. Not like Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine, anyway, the kid-friendly starlets whose transformation—in Hudgens’ and Gomez’s case, especially—from doe-eyed innocents to lusty criminals here, because it’s Spring Breaaaaaaak, gives the film its tanning-oil smear of also being commentary on the sleaziness our celebrity culture.
And because you can’t say that sort of thing without James Franco popping up, here he is playing the girls’ Riff Raff-inspired, cornrowed savior-pimp, a man with unparalleled understanding of the transformative power of SPRIIIIING BREAAAAAAAKKKKKKKK on one’s sense of identity. Naturally, Franco also handily sums up the film’s thesis: “Bikinis and big booties, y’all. That’s what life [reduced to its most basic, primal motivations and placed in an artistic context that provokes the audience into questioning their own sexual mores] is about.”