Tampa Bay's cinematic cause celebre' Spring Breakers opened Friday at local theaters, with practically as many viewer reactions as multiplexes have screens — from adulation to indifference to outrage. Filmed a year ago around the bay area, this story of a spring break vacation going all kinds of wrong reportedly debuted on more than 1,100 screens nationwide. We visited a few Friday to hear what moviegoers thought.
Michelle McNally, 18, Katie Annarelli, 17, right:
"The only thing you see in the movies is boobs and guns," McNally said. Annarelli added: "Go in with no expectations for plot."
Thomas Dougherty, 62, retired New York City detective:
"Hollywood seems to have a righteous cause and then they put out this crap. At one time we had a group that monitored the movies. We should bring that back because these guys are out of control with this stuff. It's dangerous."
Sydney Glover and Turiah Benhakuma, both 17 and Countryside High School students:
"I liked it," Glover said. "It was really good. It was intense; kind of (what I expected) but not really. I didn't know there was going to be so much gun (violence), and all the drugs and money but it was really good."
Benhakuma enjoyed the movie even more, up to a point.
"I loved it," she said. "It was real interesting and held my attention. And since we're starting our spring break, like, today, that's how everyone wants their spring break to be — except minus, like, the drugs and the killing."
Ryan Diefel, 40, St. Petersburg, who supplied weapons used as props for the production:
"(The movie) was everything I thought it would be. I think it's fine for the image of St. Pete. It's what you want to take out of it. Actually, the closer attention you pay to it, you see that you have boundaries and if you go too far this is what could happen. They could've gotten on the bus and gone back (to college) earlier. You don't have to do coke off somebody's belly in a hotel room. It's a choice.
Samantha Font, 18, of Clearwater:
"I just thought it was bad. They repeated, like, the same seven lines (of dialogue) over and over, and they played (the narrative) out of order a lot. It was stupid, not how I thought it was going to be. I wouldn't go see it again."
Juliet Wheeler, 19, of Seminole:
"I was really disappointed but it was kind of cool seeing places around here filmed and stuff."
Alex Kay, 23, of St. Petersburg:
When asked what drew her to Spring Breakers, Kay said, "I wanted to see the Disney stars go bad." She liked the movie overall. "It was good in the beginning but then it gets unrealistic. You do see lots of familiar places around St. Pete."