When Spring Breakers was first released, it go exceptional reviews from the critics. It wasn’t until after a few weeks that some negativity started dripping in. I will say proudly that I liked Spring Breakers. I didn’t like it for the nudity or the crazy parties or the things that people would think would appeal to a teenager. I honestly liked Spring Breakers for its style and artistic value.
Spring Breakers is almost the exact opposite of what it advertises itself as, and that can be something that can be hard for a lot of people to grasp. The movie is a satire, and a lot of the criticisms the movie receives are from people who clearly didn’t pick up on some of the satirical elements. Essentially, the entire movie is about teen culture and how pointless/repetitive it can be. Director/Writer Harmony Korine very resourcefully uses the very things that are the MOST teenage in the world to make this point, and I think that it absolutely genius. While people have said that the movie has glamorized violence, drugs, alcohol and nudity by showing REAL spring breakers doing these things, the way that Korine presents these REAL people is anything but positive. On top of this, he uses teen icons like James Franco, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens as the main actors in his movie and hired popular electronic artist Skrillex to create the score, in a brilliant stylistic move.
If you didn’t like the move, go back and re-watch it and look for all of Korine’s subtle criticisms. That dialogue that is constantly repeated throughout the movie? That’s a criticism of how repetitive all of teen culture truly is. Even the line “Spring Break Forever,” which is constantly uttered throughout the movie is a criticism. While it may have seemed like a bubble gum pop movie to some, I assure you, Spring Breakers is anything but. It is a VERY dark movie once you start looking for the deeper meaning.
I’m happy that I am not alone in my opinion. There are some really great articles out there discussing all of the different layers that this movie has. A particularly interesting one that I read was by a Stanford student who was writing about feminism in the movie.
If you haven’t watched the movie, give it a try. If you have and didn’t like it, I would recommend looking at it again. If not for what just said, I will say that James Franco and Selena Gomez do give particularly good performances.