DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
THE BLING RING (director/writer: Sofia Coppola; screenwriter: based on the 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspect Wore Louboutins" by Nancy Jo Sales; cinematographers: Harris Savides/Christopher Blauvelt; editor:  Sarah Flack; music: Bran Reitzell; cast: Emma Watson (Nicki), Leslie Mann (Laurie), Israel Broussard (Marc), Katie Chang (Rebecca Ahn), Taissa Farmiga (Sam), Claire Julien (Chloe), Georgia Rock (Emily), Gavin Rossdale (Ricky); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Roman Coppola/Sofia Coppola/Youree Henley; A24; 2013)

 
"The pointless pic, lacking any sense of humanity, left me confused about what the director was trying to say about the social deviants featured."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director-writer Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation"/"The Virgin Suicides"/"Marie Antoinette") bases this breezy and unaffecting look at a group of affluent materialistic LA teens who are impressionable, obnoxious and empty-headed about celebrity, the rich and famous, products, Frappuccino-drinking parties, clubbing and trendy fashions. It's based on actual events and taken from the 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspect Wore Louboutins" by Nancy Jo Sales. Though the late cinematographer Harris Savides' photography is elegant and the pic is funny in a jerky sort of way and the filmmaker aptly captures the blankness of her subjects and their sterile environment, the pic still stalls out and becomes too jejune by not offering any counter reactions from the director to the teens who steal from celebrities to wear their clothes and imitate the stars of the YouTube generation without caring about their talent. It's also weak that the filmmaker proposes nothing satirical about such a bad trip. The pointless pic, lacking any sense of humanity, left me confused about what the director was trying to say about the social deviants featured.

It offers one scene after another of the group led by the assured obsessive petty thief Rebecca (Katie Chang) and her new to San Fernando Valley insecure guilt-stricken gay high school student friend Marc (Israel Broussard), who uses the Internet to get celebrity addresses and info on when they're not home so the group can break into the palatial houses of celebs like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox and steal wads of bills and a few items of their massive collections of bling (Louboutin shoes, a Birkin bag, Alexander McQueen sunglasses, and a Balmain dress). Other house-breaking group members include the vapid Nicki (Emma Watson), the shallow Sam (Taissa Farmiga), the free-spirited amoral Chloe (Claire Julien) and self- absorbed Emily (Georgia Rock).

Leslie Mann plays the ridiculous New Age mom of Nicki and her youngest daughter Emily. The animated mom is clueless in dishing out continuous self-help solutions to the naughty  girls she home teaches, her two daughters and their best friend Sam.

The pic easily rolls along as a cutesy heist film, and never gets around to letting us get into the heads (albeit empty heads) of our unlikable protagonists and their foul deeds they were eventually punished for. I found it to be a cold, contemptuous and trite pic, one that offers repeated shots of these spoiled teens posing for their cell phones to get photos of themselves sporting celebrity bling that's posted on social media sites.

REVIEWED ON 7/13/2013       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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