Starting his career at a new school, Marc starts his first day feeling like a bit of an outcast. Many of the other students brush him off and start to poke fun at him. Unlike the other students, Rebecca chooses to chat him up and starts a new friendship. She invites him to a party, where she convinces him to walk through the neighborhood and loot unlocked cars. On a whim, Marc mentions that one of the other students plans to be out of town, which lures Rebecca to convince Marc to join her for a break in. Rebecca steals a handbag, cash, and the keys to the Porsche in the driveway. She immediately gets the bug to target celebrities to break into their homes and steal their valuables. They eventually invite in their other friends to join them on the raids, which include the homes of Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom, and Rachel Bilson.
Starring: Katie Chang (Rebecca), Israel Broussard (Marc), Emma Watson (Nicki), Claire Julien (Chloe), Taissa Farmiga (Sam), Georgia Rock (Emily), Leslie Mann (Laurie), Carlos Miranda (Rob), Gavin Rossdale (Ricky), Stacy Edwards (Marc’s Mom), G. Mac Brown (Henry), Marc Coppola (Marc’s Dad), Janet Song (Rebecca’s Mom)
The cast of this film performed their roles in the perfect way to highlight the entitled nature of these Californian teenagers. While Broussard appeared to project some hesitation to participating in the illegal activities, Chang was a strong personality as the ring leader and instigator. Watson appeared to have a lot of fun in this role as a reckless, selfish teenager. Leslie Mann seemed to play the opposite nature of the young women but with little effect or realization of their devious attitudes.
Sofia Coppola’s film tried to capture the real life crime spree committed in the homes of Hollywood elite. The real teenagers were caught for their robberies and sentenced to up to three-four years in prison, though most of them served only one year or less. They successfully were able to enter multiple celebrity homes but were caught by the security cameras at Patridge’s and Bloom’s houses, which eventually led to their arrests. They were able to walk away with over $3 million worth of items, including designer clothing, handbags, jewelry, rare Rolex watches, cash, and other items. While the film created a bit more of a story around their exploits, the real account was not too far off of the dramatization.
The major lesson of this film is about greed and entitlement. The teenagers who got themselves caught up in this behavior did so because they looked to both imitate and emulate the lifestyle of the rich and famous. They lived near the high life but had not established themselves as a part of it. They even frequented a nightclub where Paris and the stars of The Hills attended to be close to these celebrities. The robbery of the classmate served as the catalyst to take their pillaging to the next level. To see how easy it was to get into the stars’ homes made their confidence to keep doing it higher and higher. When they eventually were caught, they turned on each other. They were out for their own survival, even though Rebecca was at the center of the instigation. Rather than taking responsibility for their actions (until they pled no contest), they stole without regard for the people they affected and damaged their own friendships for the sake of material items.
The film was entertaining but struggled a bit from some extended slow motion scenes that depicted the teenagers’ enjoyment of the high life. It did not create much faith in young people.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5