Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Dissolve's Keith Phipps Will Be Uproxx's Film/TV Editor The Dissolve's Keith Phipps Will Be Uproxx's Film/TV Editor Criticwire Survey: The Worst Movie and TV Accents Ever Criticwire Survey: The Worst Movie and TV Accents Ever What Quentin Tarantino Gets Wrong About TV Critics What Quentin Tarantino Gets Wrong About TV Critics 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Is Officially Part of the English Language Now 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Is Officially Part of the English Language Now How 'Mr. Robot' Hacks TV's Empathy Machine How 'Mr. Robot' Hacks TV's Empathy Machine Joe Hill: Review Aggregrators Like Rotten Tomatoes Provide 'Confusion, Not Clarity' Joe Hill: Review Aggregrators Like Rotten Tomatoes Provide 'Confusion, Not Clarity' Noah Baumbach's Characters Are Still Coming of Age 20 Years Later Noah Baumbach's Characters Are Still Coming of Age 20 Years Later The 'Hannibal Finale' and the Dangers of Post-Mortem Interviews The 'Hannibal Finale' and the Dangers of Post-Mortem Interviews British Film Critic Was a Soviet Spy British Film Critic Was a Soviet Spy Real Life Hasn't Punished Jordan Belfort. Why Should 'The Wolf of Wall Street'? Real Life Hasn't Punished Jordan Belfort. Why Should 'The Wolf of Wall Street'? 'Fear the Walking Dead' Starts Slow, and Interest Is Already Waning 'Fear the Walking Dead' Starts Slow, and Interest Is Already Waning Daily Reads: Sexism Isn't Just a 'Straight Outta Compton' Problem, How Samuel L. Jackson Lost 'Reservoir Dogs,' and More Daily Reads: Sexism Isn't Just a 'Straight Outta Compton' Problem, How Samuel L. Jackson Lost 'Reservoir Dogs,' and More Daily Reads: Why Yale's Library Is Preserving VHS, Who Wins When a Brown Actor Plays a White Character, and More Daily Reads: Why Yale's Library Is Preserving VHS, Who Wins When a Brown Actor Plays a White Character, and More Daily Reads: What Colin Trevorrow Got Right About Female Directors, the Art of Cynical Sincerity in 'BoJack Horseman' and 'Rick and Morty,' and More Daily Reads: What Colin Trevorrow Got Right About Female Directors, the Art of Cynical Sincerity in 'BoJack Horseman' and 'Rick and Morty,' and More Daily Reads: 'Mistress America' and the Art of Making a Living as an Artist, How Summer TV Surprised Us, and More Daily Reads: 'Mistress America' and the Art of Making a Living as an Artist, How Summer TV Surprised Us, and More Criticwire Classic of the Week: Nicholas Ray's 'They Live By Night' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Nicholas Ray's 'They Live By Night' 'Scream' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street's' Wes Craven Dead at 76 'Scream' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street's' Wes Craven Dead at 76 Daily Reads: The Evolution of TV Criticism, "Queen of Earth" Is the Scariest Movie of the Summer, and More Daily Reads: The Evolution of TV Criticism, "Queen of Earth" Is the Scariest Movie of the Summer, and More 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending Daily Reads: How 'Peak TV' Is Undermining Quality Control, Ranking Quentin Tarantino's Movie, and More Daily Reads: How 'Peak TV' Is Undermining Quality Control, Ranking Quentin Tarantino's Movie, and More

Critics Love Comparing 'Spring Breakers' to a Fever Dream

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 22, 2013 at 2:27PM

The weird part is I didn't call it a fever dream and I HAD A FEVER when I saw the movie.
2
James Franco in "Spring Breakers."
James Franco in "Spring Breakers."

At Huffington Post, Christopher Rosen notices a curious trend in the reviews of Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers:" critic after critic after critic (after critic) are all using the same two words to describe the film: "fever dream." All told, Rosen found 17 different articles about "Spring Breakers" that mention that phrase, including his own:

1. "'Spring Breakers' is Harmony ('Gummo') Korine's fever dream of something he never experienced -- an orgy of sand, sin and snorting." -- Roger Moore, Seattle Times

2. "A candy-colored fever dream is the most unforgettable movie of the year so far." -- Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Do critics need to come up with some new material? Or is this a case where there really is just one perfect phrase that sums up a movie's vibe? I don't know. I do know I'm kind of surprised that I didn't contribute to this phenomenon with my own review of the movie, despite the fact that I actually had a fever when I watched "Spring Breakers." 

Rocking and rolling on about eight DayQuils at South by Southwest, I could barely keep my shivering under control as I listened to James Franco talk about his nunchucks and dark tanning oil. Yet the phrase "fever dream" never entered my mind. Admittedly, the actual fever dreams I had that night (I vaguely recall one involving a remake of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" starring the cast of "Charles in Charge") didn't much resemble "Spring Breakers"' DayGlo fantasia.

But that's just me; maybe these seventeen other critics' fever dreams do look like Korine's spring break movie. By the way: the number of "Spring Breakers"' reviews that used the phrase "DayGlo fantasia?" Zero. 

Read more of "'Spring Breakers' Is a 'Fever Dream.'"

This article is related to: Spring Breakers, From the Wire


E-Mail Updates