Moms and dads, hide your Selena Gomez-loving daughters, because Harmony Korineâs girls-gone-wild-gone-to-hell Spring BreakersÂ is definitely not for Disney-obsessed kids, or kids in general.
That was proven above and beyond at the movieâs fun, rowdy Friday night premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, packed to the gills with screaming, emo fans of the filmâs stars: Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Korineâs wife Rachel Korine, and James Franco.
Gomez, wearing a sparkling champagne-colored long-sleeved cocktail dress, and Hudgens, wearing a floor-sweeping magenta strapless gown, both by Marchesa, essentially obliterated their relatively clean images within the course of the filmâs few-hour screening and Q&A, especially Hudgens. Itâs a far far cry from Wizards of Waverly Place or High School Musical.
The movie centers on Gomez as a party gal with a conscience and Christian beliefs named, appropriately, Faith, and Hudgens, Benson, and Rachel Korine as her friends and much naughtier girls, all dead-set on having the spring break of their lives. They do, filled with booty and boob shaking (more boob shots than any recent non-porn movie on memory), coke snorting, pot smoking, nudity and general college-age hedonistic abandon. Think Felliniâs Satyricon for the rebellious teen set. Theyâre permanently in bikinis, whooping, yelling. After getting bailed out of jail by James Francoâs grinning gangster, who has a $ symbol tattooed on his neck, wears a metal grill, corn-rowed braids, has âScarface on repeatâ and drives a Camero with the license plate âBALLR,â things get worse and much more violent for the gals. The audience absolutely loved Franco: hilarious and totally ridiculous, clearly reveling in it. He even raps and sings Britney Spears. The movieâs bass-heavy soundtrack was also a hit, with tunes by Nicki Minaj, and a score by one-side-of-his-head shaved Skrillex, also at the premiere.
While Gomez is seen drunk and smoking pot in the movie, Hudgens completely lets it all hang out, literally. Three ways, pot, coke, guns, sex with both women and men (Franco). She was modest at the Q&A, post the premiere, and had changed into a sassy floor-length leopard print dress. Gomez changed into a strapless red cocktail one.
âItâs nice to push yourself, and transform yourself,â said Hudgens in an understatement, considering her normally family-friendly roles.
Gomez, who warned kids not to see the film, said she was grateful for her Disney roots, but wanted to really branch out. âI wanted to see if I could push myself,â she said. âI think Iâve been put into this little box, and Harmony gave me a chance. â¦ Itâs really hard to find something that shows the truth, so raw, so real.â
Korine had just finished the movie, filmed in St. Petersberg, Florida, five days earlier, he said. He had mulled over the idea for Spring Breakers for years, collecting thousands of photos of girls and guys on spring break, in all their spit, sweat, skin, sex and sun soaked grit. âI had this idea about girls in ski masks and guns robbing tourists,â he told the crowd. âI did something I donât normally do. I sent the idea first, not the script first.â Inspired by Michael Mannâs Miami Vice, and YouTube videos, âI wanted it to be like a violent, relentless pop song,â he said.
Franco got that emailed idea from Korine, who also sent him the spring break photos, and he jumped on board. He even spent time, no joke, with a local guy named âDangerousâ for research. The name says it all!
âHarmony wanted to tell a story about this new generation, stylized,â said Franco. âI thought this was going to be cutting edge. As an actor, why wouldnât you want to play something so far away from you.â
Will Gomez and Hudgens fans accept such a drastic change? Audience members after the premiere chatted about feeling a little bit in shock. But revelers still swamped the street after, taking photos and crushing forward to get a look at their favorite post-Disney queens.
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