I’ve spent a lot of time looking at audience reactions to films, which is the same amount of time that everyone who has Facebook and Twitter has spent doing the same. It is because of this intense study that I’m pretty decent at gauging whether or not people will like a movie, based on the trailer.
However, despite my almost academic perseverance when it comes to reading someone’s all caps, one sentence review of Les Miserables, I cannot even begin to guess what people will think of the new film, Spring Breakers. Let’s look at the trailer and try to understand what all this madness is about.
It starts with a group of girls waking Selena Gomez up, calling her a “little bitch,” and asking her where the money is, which I imagine is pretty akin to how Selena Gomez wakes up every morning in real life. Apparently, these girls are sick of hanging out at their abandoned school and doing headstands against walls and want to live their spring break to the fullest.
In movies, the myth of spring break is propelled to extraordinary heights. It serves, often, as the major turning point in people’s lives (such as in Piranha 3D) or as a time when you party like you’ve never partied before or will ever after (also Piranha 3D.) It seems surprising that a movie called Spring Breakers hasn’t come out before, but maybe that’s because the guy in charge of making sure that turning you couldn’t turn nouns into verbs in movie titles just died, and the producers of Spring Breakers jumped on this opportunity.
At one point, the lighting makes it look like the girls are bathing in a blood shower, which is the most interesting part of the whole preview, but they decide to bore it up by having the girls do things like almost make out with each other and then, in order to get the money, rob a store. At this point, I’m sure most people over the age of thirty are wondering how today’s teenage generation got to be so awful and wild, but then you remember that Selena Gomez is in fact Selena Gomez, and that none of these girls appear to be over ninety pounds, and 5’4, so reality sets back in pretty quickly.
The girls get the money and make their way to some “magic place, ya’ll” as James Franco with grillz calls it, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a beach. Franco makes some pretty philosophical statements about spring break, shit so deep that the screenwriters of Can’t Hardly Wait are wondering now why they didn’t give the same lines to Jennifer Love-Hewitt. The girls grind on people and it looks pretty fun, until they’re arrested and then released, I guess, into the loving arms of Aileen “Grillz” Franco. Franco makes the most of his time on screen by saying “’spicious” like a person who’s only exposure to slang is a stuttering racist with a faulty microphone.
We see Franco hanging out with the girls, and then, as if to prove that this film came out in 2013, and not, say, 2010, dubstep kicks in and we see the names of the main cast, led by Franco and featuring four girls who no one cares about, and then, finally, star of the music video for “Lemonade” himself, Gucci Mane. We can assume that Gucci Mane, because he’s a rapper, will either play the fun-loving asshole, or the villain, and since the former is already being played by Franco, he’s only left with the latter.
The cast is then shown having more fun and holding guns and money. At one point, the girls seem to turn on Franco, probably because saying the full word “suspicious” isn’t difficult in the least. And I forgot to mention that, at two points during the trailer, some says “Spring Break” a few times in a voiceover. I hope this ends up being like the movie Mama, where the words “spring break” are said as many times as possible, just in case the audience forgets where the title originated from.
A girl says “Spring break forever, bitches”, which I think might be a line paraphrased from William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”, but I could be mistaken. The title comes up and then we see the girls, in typical “haha, this is funny because you know songs, right?” anti-humor of today, singing “One More Time” by Britney Spears. It’s a great way to end a trailer for a film with a mostly unlikable cast by having the four leads sing a terrible, terrible song. So, if you were behind Spring Breakers until the second-to-last shot of the trailer, the editors added it in especially for you.
To be honest, the trailer almost seems like that of a Grindhouse/exploitation film. I know it seems like kind of a stretch, but I couldn’t help but imagine narration like “For these four teenage girls, the allure of a white hot spring break became too much to handle. Armed with beauty, brains and assault rifles, they headed to a popular beachside resort. What they encountered was a dark underworld, disguised as a veritable wonderland of fun and opportunity. For these four teenage girls, it was their time to become Spring Breakers” playing, had this film come out in the early seventies. Those films often were centered around young people doing things that would baffle fifty-year-olds, and Spring Breakers seems practically made to arouse the anger of those who grew up in a time when foreplay meant getting a triple word on “moist” in Scrabble.
I don’t have a lot of expectations for this film, but when I heard about it, it had my curiosity. After seeing the trailer, it has my attention.*
*(See, I can do pop culture references with no meaning too.)