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"The Bling Ring": Rich Kids Stealing from Really Rich Kids 

Friday, Jun 21 2013

It's only June, but the contender for 2013's best "media-saturated teenage girls go on a crime spree" film is abundantly clear: Harmony Komine's Spring Breakers. Trailing behind is Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on the true case of a group of affluent Los Angeles teenagers (four girls, one boy) who burglarized the unlocked houses of C-list celebrities. The most prominent of the C-listers was Paris Hilton, who not only appears in the film as herself in a mercifully wordless cameo, but also allowed Coppola to film inside her home, allowing the characters — and, by extension, the audience — to marvel at all her shiny things, many of them adorned with Hilton's face. Yes, this may have been how the actual crimes happened (and there are those who will, ahem, "appreciate" watching Emma Watson work Hilton's private stripper pole), but between the heavy Hilton presence, the contemporaneous news footage from the gossip-hounds at TMZ, the thin plot, and the preponderance of duckfaces, The Bling Ring feels no less shallow than the world it portrays, lacking anything as poetic as the "look at my shit!" monologue or "spring break for-evah" mantras from the (fictional) Spring Breakers. The Bling Ring started as a Vanity Fair article, and might have been better off staying one.

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Sherilyn Connelly


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