A beautifully shot and (mostly) well-performed adaptation of Franco's shorts that plays out more like an homage to Larry Clark, Harmony Korine, and Gus Van Sant. Though the airy, fragmented storytelling never quite gives up enough cause or effect to keep us interested in the cast of despicable or disenfranchised characters.
When you're trying to make an indie film please be sure: a) if using the virgin girl cliché, at least make it original; b) Emma Roberts and James Franco have mainstream written all over their faces, and zero chemistry; c) if you came from a reputable family, live up to your last name.
on second viewing i'm bumping this up from a high 3 to a low 5. it is the perfect teen film, at least for me and it's the only film i've ever seen that truly captures what it's like to be a teenager. it's flawed for sure but i think this film will have a place in my heart indefinitely
The performances are all delivered in earnest, but the script does little to round out the characters, not even Franco's. Nothing of real consequence happens, and you will ultimately be left asking yourself,... Why did this movie have to be made?
This is truly a first directorial effort for Gia Coppola but the film student feature vibes are saved by delightful performances from Wolff, Roberts, and Kilmer. She was dealing with some pretty pretentious and navel-gazing material from Franco's book, so this script is often VERY cringe-inducing. Aside from the acting and Dev Hynes score, this is a bust.