College students Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are short of the cash they need for a spring-break trip, so they rob a diner and head down to Florida. However, the police soon break up the party and arrest them. The curvaceous quartet are unexpectedly bailed out by a drug dealer and aspiring rap artist named Alien (James Franco). Soon after, three of the four gal pals decide to join Alien in a life of crime.
Spring Breakers is a 2012 American dark comedy crime film written and directed by Harmony Korine. It stars James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine and follows four college-aged girls on their spring break in Florida where they meet a local drug dealer and descend into a world of drugs, crimes, and violence.
The film grossed $31 million worldwide and had an estimate budget of $5 million. It received positive reviews from film critics, some calling it a cult classic. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper "Alien" promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.
College students Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) spend their time partying while their friend, Faith (Selena Gomez), attends a religious youth group. As their classmates head to spring break, they are stuck behind due to lack of money. Desperate to make the trip, Brit and Candy, after getting high on cocaine, don ski masks and use hammers and realistic-looking squirt guns to rob a local restaurant. Cotty acts as the getaway driver in a stolen car (obtained from one of the girls professors), which the girls later burn.
Now able to make the trip to spring break in St. Petersburg, Florida, the girls attend wild beach parties fueled by alcohol, drugs and sex. Shortly after, Cotty, Candy and Brit divulge the details of their crime to a horrified Faith, who keeps quiet about it. After a particularly wild party, all four are arrested. They spend the night in a holding cell, but are bailed out by Alien (James Franco), a local rapper and gangster. Alien charms Cotty, Candy and Brit with his wealth and "bad boy" swagger, but Faith feels uneasy.
Alien takes the girls to a local club frequented by gang members, where Faith becomes increasingly uncomfortable with his lifestyle. Despite Aliens attempts to convince her to stay, Faith decides to leave and begs the others to come with her. They refuse, however, and she makes the trip home alone. The girls return to Aliens mansion, where he flaunts his drug money and cache of weapons, describing his life as the "American Dream". Brit and Candy suddenly grab one of his guns and threaten to kill him; turned on, Alien performs fellatio on the gun and declares that he has fallen in love with the girls. He takes Brit and Candy to a strip club owned by his rival, Big Arch (Gucci Mane), who warns Alien to stop selling drugs in his territory.
Alien arms the girls with pink ski masks and shotguns, and they perform several armed robberies. While in Aliens car they are approached by Big Arch and another member of his gang, who threaten them and execute a drive-by shooting, wounding Cotty. Despite Aliens promises of retaliation, Cotty is traumatized by the incident and chooses to return home. Brit and Candy stay behind, and begin a sexual relationship with Alien. The three of them decide to take revenge on Big Arch. In a flashforward, the two girls call home, promising to work harder and become better people.
Back in the present, the three travel in a motorboat to Big Archs mansion. After docking onto the pier, Alien is immediately shot and killed by one of Big Archs guards as Brit and Candy continue on, killing Big Archs gang before confronting and killing Big Arch himself. During the assault and its aftermath, the camera pans over the dead bodies of Big Archs gang while Faith speaks in a voice over, originally played earlier in the film, describing the beachs beauty and muses that they have discovered who they truly are. Brit and Candy drive home in Big Archs Lamborghini. A final flashback shows the pair kissing Aliens dead body.James Franco as AlienVanessa Hudgens as CandySelena Gomez as FaithAshley Benson as BritRachel Korine as CottyGucci Mane as Big ArchHeather Morris as BessAsh Lendzion as ForestEmma Holzer as HeatherJeff Jarrett as Youth pastorJohn McClain as JudgeSidney and Thurman Sewell as ATL twins
According to Harmony Korine, he wrote the film partially to make up for his own spring breaks, as he had been fully devoted to skateboarding, and therefore missed out on what he saw as opportunities for hedonistic pursuits. The original lineup of lead actresses was announced as Emma Roberts, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens. Roberts however dropped out in early 2012, reportedly after hearing she would need to gain body fat for her role. Director Korine had purposely collected a group of well-known young actresses with a similar reputation to Roberts in Hollywood. Ashley Benson was ultimately cast. The film was shot in March and April 2012 in and around St. Petersburg, Florida. Skrillex produced the score for the film.
A three-minute preview of Spring Breakers was released at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in May 2012. The entire film premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2012. The film was released in New York and Los Angeles on March 15, 2013. The film was released nationwide on March 22, 2013. The film had a limited release in the U.K. on April 5, 2014. The movie was also released in France on March 6, 2013 and was scheduled to be released in Australia in early March, however was pushed back to a release date of May 4.
Spring Breakers was released digitally on June 25, 2014, and on DVD and Blu-ray on July 4, 2014.
On February 15, 2012, Korine contacted rapper Riff Raff about appearing in an upcoming film of his which would turn out to be Spring Breakers. Once the trailer was released there was speculation that the character Alien was based around Riff Raff. According to Franco, his character is based on the underground rap artist Dangeruss, who has a cameo in the film. "Of course Harmony and I looked at some of Riff Raffs videos as inspiration, but he was one of a number of people we looked at. I would say the biggest influence on the role was this local Florida rapper named Dangeruss. Hes fairly unknown, but he was down there in the place, living the life, and he became the biggest model for me, and hes in the movie." After much back and forth between both camps about the issue, during July 2013 Riff Raff announced he was suing the creators of Spring Breakers for $10 million for "sampling" his life without his permission or a proper producer credit.
The film has generated debate and controversy among critics and bloggers, with some arguing that it should be considered a feminist or female-empowerment film, while others regarding the film as a male film directors indulgence in furthering the objectification and exploitation of attractive young women in popular media. In regard to the former, the women are not depicted as the films victims, but arguably as antiheroes, acting according to their own power and agency. According to Rolling Stone, the film presents "a kind of girl-power camaraderie that could almost be called feminist", a result of the directors intent to "do the most radical work, but put it out in the most commercial way (...) to infiltrate the mainstream". In regard to the latter perspective, The Guardian suggests that the film "reinforces rape culture" and "turns young women into sex objects", while other reviewers state that it "pushes booze-and-bikini hedonism to the extreme", as the "camera glides up, down and around these womens bodies like a giant tongue."
The film received generally favorable reactions from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 65% approval rating with an average rating of 6.3/10 based on 164 reviews. The websites consensus reads, "Spring Breakers blends stinging social commentary with bikini cheesecake and a bravura James Franco performance." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 from film critics, it received a rating score of 63, based on 40 critics. Xan Brooks of The Guardian said the film is Korines "most fully realised, purely satisfying feature film since Gummo. " Emma Seligman of The Huffington Post described the film as "Scarface meets Britney Spears." Oliver Lyttlelton of IndieWire gave the film a B, stating that the film would be a future cult favorite for "midnight moviegoers".
Guy Lodge of Variety gave it a negative review saying, "this attractively fizzy pic may be a shock to the system for fans of teen queens Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, but remains pretty toothless titillation by its writer-helmers standards." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter noted that James Franco gives one of his more bizarre performances in his unpredictable career, saying "hes a cross between Bo Derek in 10 and Richard Kiel in Moonraker." Andrew Schenker of Slant Magazine gave the film 3 out of 4 stars. Jamie Dunn of The Skinny gave it 4 out of 5 stars, saying: "If Michael Mann was to take a lot of hallucinogenics and shoot a Girls Gone Wild video, it might look something like this."
Spring Breakers was listed on many critics top ten lists.
Spring Breakers grossed $14,124,284 in North America and $17,600,000 in other countries for a worldwide total of $31,724,284.
In North America, the film opened to #1 in its first weekend with $4,858,944, ahead ofThe Croods, Admission, The Call, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Olympus Has Fallen.
A24 films began a campaign in September 2013 in support of a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Francos performance. This was preceded by the Hollywood.com website that produced a "For your consideration" poster in support of a nomination for Franco in March 2013. On December 2, 2013, A24 published a YouTube video titled "James Franco - Consider this Sh*t" and also released print advertisements following the "Consider this Sh*t" theme. Originally, Internet chatter considered the campaign a joke, but A24 Films has since made it clear that the campaign was indeed serious. He has received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (tied with Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, and San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor , while the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association nominated Franco for its Best Supporting Actor award.
The film score to Spring Breakers was composed by Cliff Martinez and Skrillex, marking the first scoring assignment for the latter. Skrillex was contacted after Korine sent music supervisor Randall Poster links to the electronica artists music on YouTube. "Im accustomed to being the oldest person at a gig," said Poster, "but when I went to see Skrillex at Roseland this year, it was dramatic. There were a lot of kids that looked like they were 15 years old. But I loved it. I truly loved it."
Spring Breakers (Music From the Motion Picture) is a Soundtrack album for the film of the same name, released on March 19, 2013 by Big Beat Records and Warner Music.
Spring Breakers: The Second Coming was announced in May 2014. Although the storyline will have connections with the previous film, it will include a new cast in addition to the original. The Second Coming, which Irvine Welsh has been attached to script, will focus on a set of spring breakers coming into conflict with Christian extremists.
Upon the announcement, Franco released a statement stating that the sequel was "not being done with Harmony Korine or my consent" and that the producers were "capitalizing on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel" and attempting to "make money off someone elses creativity."