Who says Disney princesses are all sugar and spice? Not in Spring Breakers

7 May 2013 / 3 years 5 months ago

Source: The New PaperWhat is it about those Disney Princesses?Cinderella has been in and out of rehab since divorcing the handsome prince.The Little Mermaid spent three years behind bars for Vehicular Homicide While Under The Influence. Belle is a sex addict.Snow White is homeless...Of course, I jest.Disney's 2-D leading ladies aren't the ones with the "issues"; it's the real-life, flesh-and-blood Mouseketeers who end up going hog wild.Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera, Adrienne Bailon, Lalaine Vergara-Paras - all have had their issues with drugs, alcohol, sex, food and jail.Though actress-singers Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have each had their peccadillos - Justin Bieber-snogging and nude photos, respectively - they've mostly managed to keep their button noses clean.While their chuckle-headed sisters have filled their lives with senseless tabloid antics, Gomez, 20, and Hudgens, 24, have instead opted to pour their coming-of-age angst into a movie.It's the R21-rated Spring Breakers, it's insane, and it opened here on Thursday.Our lovelies play a couple of childhood friends, Faith (Gomez) and Candy (Hudgens), who head to Florida with their equally nubile bikini-clad pals (Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) to partake of that great, American tradition known as Spring Break.The trip is financed by a robbery, and once there they get busted for drug possession. Bailed out by a local gangster known as Alien (James Franco), they are drawn into a yet more violent and decadent world.Director Harmony Korine, best known for arty-farty fare such as Gummo and Trash Humpers, is the madman in charge."Kids from high school and college jump in a car and drive to Florida, and they just kind of tear the place up," the 40-year-old US film-maker, who cast his wife Rachel in Spring Breakers, told The Guardian."It's kind of an American cultural phenomenon, a rite of passage or whatever."It's just adolescent debauchery on the beach, just everything you could imagine - drugs and sex and violence."Then you just get back in the car and drive home and pretend like it didn't happen."The idea of including Gomez and Hudgens in his Boschian shindig was of course genius.There's the Wizards Of Waverly Place honey getting handcuffed! There's the High School Musical cutie in a three-way!The genius of the idea is in the simplicity and purity of its central conceit - these all-American girls, they're animals.The theme song for Spring Breakers is Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, and the Breakers babes are both simultaneously.Gomez is more the, sprite, and Hudgens more the monster, but it's clear that Korine is titillated and terrified by each of them in their own way.Gomez's innocence invites violation and a consequent damnation.Hudgens' worldliness cascades into nihilistic debauchery.This isn't the first film to explore maniacal teenyboppers - Heathers (1988), Jawbreaker (1999), Sugar & Spice (2001) and others come to mind - but it's the first to make its case so forcefully, taking "girl power" to such extremes.One comes away from it with the sense that it's saying something important, though it's hard to say what exactly."Disney Girls Gone Wild"Anyway, it's a credit to our Disney girls that they are willing to throw our preconceived notions of "Disney Girls Gone Wild" back in our faces.THEY know what WE think about them - insert your misogynistic slur of choice here - and they're willing to follow our ugly speculations to their illogical extreme.Though some might cluck-cluck, how could they possibly pass up such a golden opportunity to flip the bird? Of course, they'd never put it in those terms."Obviously I know that coming from Disney Channel gives you kind of a brand," said Gomez during a press conference in Venice."I know that I have younger fans and this is kind of an opportunity for me to grow."Spring, Breakers is a little shocking, I think, for the younger audiences because of my background, but I think that it was right for me."I do everything for my younger fans, and this one was more for me."Hudgens, of course, is also expected to be politically correct."It was a whole new experience," she said."I think that's what's so brilliant about acting is playing these different characters and having these new experiences and being thrown into situations that, personally, I don't think I would be thrown into."It was just something that I will always have to look back on, this piece of art, this piece of something that I'm just so genuinely proud of."Many have accused Spring Breakers of being exploitative - a Daily Mail reviewer called Korine a "dirty old man" - but its stars seem to think it's empowering.Surely they should have a say."These girls are of this world and of this culture," said Korine."There's a meaning to them doing the film."It was exciting to me."When I was thinking it up and talking about who could play these characters, it was just a fantasy to have these girls be a part of it."

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