CRIME DRAMA; 1hr 30min
STARRING: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga
Club mates: from left, Watson, Broussard and Farmiga
The most glaring facet of director Sofia Coppola’s non-committal overview of a group of amoral Calabasas teens is how smoothly their Hollywood Hills heists play out. Mastermind Rebecca (Chang) and her worshipful BFF, Marc (Broussard), scoop designer loot from unsecured mansions with ridiculous ease. Their style-dazzled friends Nicki (Watson), Chloe (Julien) and Sam (Farmiga) can’t wait to join them inside Paris Hilton’s creamy pile, where there’s even a key under the mat. Chez Hilton is followed by Chez Audrina Partridge, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Kerr-Bloom and Lindsay Lohan.
What boggles the mind isn’t the celebrity-saturated, surface-fixated kids — who do actually exist (Coppola’s screenplay is based on a 2010 Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales) and were eventually caught — but that the $3 million-plus they steal in clothes, bags, jewels and cash is so laughably accessible. (Lock your doors, already! ) Coppola photographs the lush streets as a tomb-silent playground, its sole sparks of life the clubs in which the gang gets gleefully high. She delivers no blinding insights into avarice gone wild; then again, the mountains of glass-housed eye candy speak volumes in themselves.