Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers comes out this weekend and although most of the stories surrounding the movie focus on its Disney starlets (Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) gone bad, what this movie really got me thinking about is how this is the first year in forever that I haven’t had a spring break.
I didn’t have an older sibling, so everything I knew about college came from movies and TV. Given that, when I was in high school, I imagined spring break would be a 24-hour party where everyone was beautiful, the music bumped all night long, there were no repercussions for gross misjudgments or transgressions, and everything was free. It went a little something like this:
EXT. A POOLSIDE PARTY SOMEWHERE IN FLORIDA. DAY.
Girls in neon bikinis and guys in cartoon swim trunks dance in slow motion around our lead character, SARAH. Every man is inexplicably a football player, every woman a model. Sarah holds a fruity drink as she walks alongside the pool, away from the cabana, taking in the atmosphere. One Abercrombie model throws a football to another Hollister model and he catches it while diving into the pool. No one gets tired. A mysterious boy accidentally bumps into our heroine. She’s turns around, upset. But wait, he’s pretty handsome.
EXT. A BEACH SHORE. NIGHT.
Waves nipping at their feet, the new couple spends the whole night talking about David Foster Wallace (got to get my PG-13 rating). She goes to leave. She has forgotten she has to catch her plane. Oh no, they are from opposite sides of the world and he never got to tell her his last name.
In actuality, my spring breaks were more like Rory Gilmore’s — i.e. watching The Power of Myth and eating pizza with my friends. Due to no funds (or planning skills), I spent two of my spring breaks upstate with friends watching movies and gossiping (and getting plenty of judgmental “You’re spending your spring break here?” inquiries).
Don’t cry for me Argentina, namely because I spent one of my spring breaks in Argentina (well, fall here, spring there). Now, Buenos Aires is a pretty big party city, but in orientation week my study-abroad professors all told us horror stories about tourists abroad (and, I mean, I’ve seen those movies too), so for the most part I was too timid to really dive in. My bolder friends there spent a lot of nights going to clubs, only to crawl to classes with a pack of jugo de naranja the next day. I did not have that kind of stamina. I’ve also accepted that my low tolerance for sweaty people screaming in my ear and general love of sleep prevented me from ever having a full-fledged spring break party-all-the-time experience. So instead my Argentinian vacation was spent white-water rafting and petting tigers. (Seriously guys, nothing requires signing a legal release in BA.)
But still, sometimes I wonder if it’s too much to want a tanned boy to mouth, “I love you,” while I mispronounce his name. (StePHEN!) The part of me that always wishes my life were a movie longs for a spring break full of partying all day and all night and a little bit of romance. Plus, if you had the lives of the people on The Hills, you’d be able to afford those ridiculous hotel rooms where the pool has a swim-up bar. Wouldn’t life just be better if it was a musical? Grease started with a summer fling, don’t mean a thing — but the infinitely inferior From Justin to Kelly happened on a spring break. And once, just once, couldn’t Damien Fahey tell me what music videos everyone voted for, while people screamed frantically as the camera panned over them, in person?
So what about you, PopWatchers? Did you think spring break was going to be way cooler when you were younger because of movies and TV? Did you ever have an epic spring break filled with hotties, parties, and staying up all night? Are you chasing that perfect spring break this year? Does a gonzo movie like Spring Breakers make you nostalgic for your wilder days or regretful of your milder reality?
Let me know in the comments and also, don’t forget your suntan lotion! I wish nothing but swim-up bars for all of you!