Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” is a slight tale of spoiled Southern California high schoolers — four girls, one guy — who have the idea of searching the Net to find out when celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan or Megan Fox are out attending parties or shooting films, and then breaking into their homes and boosting all the designer goods they can carry. Set to the trashy beats of generation-Z pop — think Lil Wayne and deadmau5 — “The Bling Ring” aims for the zeitgeist thing, FTW. But like Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” it winds up feeling rather pointless.
Based on a real-life case reported by Vanity Fair in 2010 — the teens netted over $2 million in goods and cash before getting caught — “The Bling Ring” features characters even more vapid and superficial than usual for a Coppola film. As played with gleeful bitchiness by Katie Chang, Emma Watson and Israel Broussard, they come off as the cretinous spawn of Perez Hilton, although the dialogue — with lines like “I wanna have my own lifestyle brand” — is, like, totally on the mark.
Are teens today too celebrity- and Internet-obsessed? Possibly. But coming as it does after “Lost in Translation,” “Marie Antoinette” and “Somewhere,” it’s not just teens: This is one Coppola film too many that sells itself exactly on the trappings of celebrity — it was really filmed in Paris Hilton’s house! — that it claims to be critiquing.