You all remember the story of the real Bling Ring, right? From 2008-2009, a group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and celebrity burglarize celebrities’ homes in Los Angeles. Overall the real Bling Ring stole from seven celebrities: Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austin Green, Megan Fox and Paris Hilton. Releasing in theater’s tomorrow (June 21, 2013) Oscar award-winning writer and director Sofia Coppola brings the story of the real Bling Ring to life in her movie,The Bling Ring. The film, based on actual events, is also based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales which Coppola read during a flight. The cast includes: Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, Gavin Rossdale, Leslie Mann and real-life Bling Ring victim, Paris Hilton.
I had to chance to attend an advance screening of the film and a private pre-movie cocktail party hosted by my friends at Serrano in Philadelphia.
The cocktail party featured a selection of appetizers and nibblers prepared by the talented Serrano team, as well as theme-designed cocktails including: The Bling Ring (Orange Vodka, Peach Bitters, Sofia Sparkling Wine), The Paris (Mead, Aperol, Thyme, White Cranberry) and The Star (Domaine de Canton, El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Fresh Lime and Ginger Ale). There was also nice supply of Sofia Sparking Wines, which began as a gift from Francis Ford Coppolla to his daughter and director of The Bling Ring, Sophia Coppolla.
Before I talk about the film I will talk a little bit about the wine, because let’s face it – we all know I like my tasty beverages. Packaged in these cute little pink cans, the sparkling wine can either be enjoyed directly from the can or poured into a champagne glass. Sofia sparkling wine was light and deliciously fresh. Sofia would be great for summer barbecues or fun tailgating before an event. The cans can be stored in a cooler and cold, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on-the-go in a relaxing, laid back sort of way.
Let’s get back to the movie.
In the real Bling Ring, and in the movie, the teenage burglars tracked their targets’ whereabouts online, using things like Google maps and the celebrities’ social media accounts to find out where they lived and when they were going to be out-of-town or at an event and not home. They would casually drive to the celebs home and try every door until they found one mistakenly left open. In some cases they squeezed through doggie doors and in the case of Paris Hilton, they just looked under the front door mat to find a set of spare keys which, of course, had an Eiffel Tower key chain. The film, The Bling Ring, accurately reflects of the naiveté of youth and their mistakes, amplified by today’s culture of celebrity, social media and luxury brand obsession.
While not the most riveting of films, it definitely had its moments. I enjoyed the role fashion played in the film (although not enough for me) and I found the role social media played in the film (and the real Bling Ring story) to be fascinating. The fact that these kids were robbing these homes and then posting images of themselves posing with Chanel, Christian Louboutins and mass amounts of cash on social media just shows how much today’s youth try to live up to the online worlds they have created for themselves and in these worlds only the finest clothes, fastest cars and wildest parties exist.
Now, here is where I start to sound like an old lady. I was glad to see that it is Rated R. The film has ridiculous amounts of teen drug and alcohol use and many parts of it bothered me as a mom of two young boys. I watched how these kids went behind their parents backs and were so calculated and conniving. I sat in my seat with pains in my stomach as the Bling Ring members were arrested right in their parent’s homes; their parents standing back and helplessly watching with tears streaming down their face. It didn’t help that the main male character in the film, Israel Boussard, eerily reminded me of what my son could look like, moppy hair and all.
The film was definitely predictable, one-dimensional and a little shallow. Once the characters completed the first robbery the rest of the story is drawn out. Every time they googled a celebrity, you knew what was going to happen next and how it would be played out. While I wouldn’t go out this weekend and rush to see the film, it’s definitely worth a rental for some weekend entertainment. It’s a great story for the media but I am not sure it’s film worthy. If anything, you will appreciate the pop culture aspects of the story.
And lastly, in the true spirit of the film. Here is a picture of me and my bestie having a little Bling Ring fun with our own mug shot. I am dressed as The Star (Emma Watson’s character) and my friend, Jen is dressed as The Mastermind (Katie Chang’s character). The Bling Ring is in theaters June 21, 2013.
Note: I received complimentary access to The Bling Ring cocktail party and advanced screening of the film.