Review: The Bling Ring

I will be the first to admit that I may be a little biased toward Sofia Coppola films. There is just something about them that I absolutely love. The Bling Ring is very much like Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. These films both attempt to shed light on today’s teenage obsession with status, material things, and having a good time no matter what the cost. The Bling Ring is based on actual events that occurred in the Hollywood Hills just a few years ago. A group of fame obsessed teens broke into the houses of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, and many others. In some cases, Paris Hilton’s notably, the teens simply found a key under the mat and waltzed in like they owned the place. Hilton’s home was hit 5 times, which leads me to believe she didn’t even notice things were missing at first because she has so much.

The role of Nicki, who is clearly a representation of the real life Alexis Neiers, was played excellently by Emma Watson. Her family is given the most screen time of the bunch mostly because it is so bizarre. “Girls, time for your Adderall!” is their wake up call every morning from their mother and home school teacher (the always lovely Leslie Mann). They are being taught based on the book The Secret and spend only a few hours a day learning about how to be their best selves. At one point this includes talking about what they admire most about Angelina Jolie.

I think if anyone was wondering why these teens decided to start robbing celebrities I honestly think the only answer is because they could. As I mentioned many of the homes lacked security systems and were left unlocked. I am not on their side by a long shot but it is hard to feel bad for someone like Paris Hilton who has a pet monkey, a nightclub room, and pillows with her face on them. We should feel disgusted by these teens obsession with status but we have to look at where they learned it. Celebrity obsession is far from a new concept. Imagine Beatlemania with Social Media? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all about how many followers or friends you have. Your Facebook timeline is basically a tabloid mag of you and your friends. You can edit and filter everything you want out and only show other people your shiny happy life. This is what these kids were doing. They posted pictures and bragged about their escapades to friends and eventually that is what led to their arrests.

I think some of best lines in the film come in the last 10 minutes to really drive the point home. Vanity Fair magazine is interviewing the kids individually and it appears the only one who learned anything is Marc who admits he thinks they “just wanted to be part of the lifestyle. The lifestyle that everybody kinda wants.” He is, however, happy to announce that he received 800 friend requests on Facebook as a result of the arrest and he accepted them all. He is also sad to discover that his best friend and partner in crime removed him as a friend. To these kids that is the worst thing in the world and jail time is just a slap on the wrist. Nicki appears to want to use this time in the spotlight to become a celebrity herself, even mentioning that you can visit her website: nickimooreforever.com.

The film is also great because it is 90 mins. I don’t remember the last time I went to a theater and wasn’t bombarded with over 2 hours of visual effects and explosions so The Bling Ring was a nice break from all of that. If you loved Spring Breakers you will probably like this film for the same reasons.

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