The pumped-up controversy that is "Spring Breakers" arrives in Salt Lake City today along with a lot of other new movies.
"Spring Breakers" is indie writer-director Harmony Korine's biggest stab at the mainstream, and it's a button-pushing drama that dances between art and exploitation. It centers on four college girls who want to get to Florida for spring break - even if it means robbing a local diner to fund the trip. The four (played by Disney princesses Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine, the director's wife) fall into the party scene fast, until an arrest leads them to be bailed out by a skeevy drug dealer (James Franco), who introduces them to his violent world. Korine self-consciously breaks taboos as he saturates the film with lurid images and banal dialogue. The results makes for an interesting cultural artifact, but not a good movie.
The best movie this week is "Admission," which is Tina Fey's first foray into full-blown romantic comedy - but it's smarter and warmer than your usual rom-com. Fey plays a detail-obsessed Princeton admissions officer who is told that an applicant (Nat Wolff) is the child she gave up for adoption when she secretly gave birth in college 16 years earlier. She learns this bombshell from the student's teacher (Paul Rudd), a globe-hopping do-gooder with whom Fey's character strikes instant sparks. Fey and Rudd have a comfortable chemisty, and Fey also works well with a solid supporting cast that includes Wallace Shawn and Lily Tomlin.