Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I loved Spring Breakers the first time I watched it and the second viewing was maybe even better, because I wasn't so nervous that something terrible was going to happen to the girls at every turn. That said, I do not begrudge anyone who hates this movie or just doesn't get what there is to love. It is a film that you have to be locked into, so you can roll with it wherever it goes. If you are standing outside, watching it roll by -- well, I can understand why that would be frustrating.

I've heard pretty much every argument about why Spring Breakers doesn't work and it seems like all the reasons why people don't like it are exactly why the film works for me. Korine doesn't pass judgement on the behavior of anyone in the movie; there is no moral lesson or finger-wagging at the excesses of spring break. He just presents it in all its over the top glory, which is intriguing and repulsive and hypnotizing. Spring break is kind of my worst nightmare. And yet he made me understand the appeal.

Yes, the girl who is ostensibly the protagonist disappears halfway through the movie. Yes, lines and sounds are repeated over and over again in a kind of fever dream. Yes, there are quite a few montages. Yes, the final showdown is like a video game. For all these reasons and more, Spring Breakers is like no other film, a vision that could only have come from the off-kilter mind of Harmony Korine (with a pure gold performance by James Franco).

If you hate it, I totally understand. But I say: spring break, forever.