The Bling Ring

Emma Watson, Sofia Coppola
I had been wanting to see The Bling Ring because Emma Watson (yes, Hermione of Harry Potter fame) was in it, and the trailer made it look like it could be a fun film. However, I should have reminded myself that it's a Sofia Coppola movie, and she likes to do everything in excess (see: Marie Antoinette, 2006). The plot of the film was interesting, and even more so in that it's based on real-life events, as well an an article - not a book, an article - but unfortunately, Coppola doesn't explore the lives of the main characters at all, except on a very superficial level.

Marc (Israel Broussard) recently moves back to the L.A. area with his mom, and on his first day of high school he meets the beautiful Rebecca (Katie Chang), as well as her friend Chloe (Claire Julien). Rebecca has a taste for designer jewelry and clothes, and also a penchant for stealing, and she realizes that when celebrities go out of town for highly-publicized parties, their houses are just sitting there, empty. She recruits Marc into finding the addresses of her favorite celebs, such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and it's surprisingly easy to break into their houses. Their friends Nikki (Emma Watson) and Sam (Taissa Farmiga, younger sister to Vera Farmiga) soon go with them as well, and their group is soon enjoying the spoils of these house raids without consequences.

In the trailer for The Bling Ring, Emma Watson has a "Valley Girl"-type voice, which I thought was funny - I had only ever heard her use an American accent in The Perks of Being a Wallflower - but it very quickly gets annoying in the film. She's homeschooled by her mom, Laurie (Leslie Mann), and there are a few scenes near the end where we see just how self-involved her character is; she does an interview for Vanity Fair about the break-ins and every time her mom tries to talk, she shushes her with an annoyed look. The actors were fine in this movie but they don't have much to go on; the script is very thin and could have been "beefed up" a bit.

Maybe see this film. If you are a fan of Coppola's work, you may enjoy it, but I felt that the movie should have been better than it was. Someone mentioned that it was more of a TV or Hallmark-type movie, and it's actually based on a 2011 made-for-TV movie of the same name, with the lead male character being played by Austin Butler from The Carrie Diaries. The true story behind the actual Bling Ring is very interesting, and I think that if Coppola had focused on getting more of the story across, rather than concentrating on making the film more "artsy," it could have been a more enjoyable movie.

The Bling Ring is in theaters today, June 21st, and is rated R with a runtime of 90 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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