A bunch of idiots rob another bunch of idiots, in an idiotic fashion, in Sofia Coppola’s latest indie satire on modern celebrity culture. But do we care? Well, it is difficult to. Based on the real story of a group of teenagers that went on a robbery spree in Beverly Hills, targeting their celebrity idols and using the press to find out when they would be out of town. We watch them repeat the same thing over and over again throughout the film, with them leaving a profiler’s dream worth of fingerprints each time and being caught on CCTV on several occasions, with the only male of the group repeatedly saying ‘C’mon guys, we should really get out of here, now!’ and being completely ignored each time resulting in him casually continuing with what they were doing. Too little effort has been made with characterisation, with an emphasis placed on drink, drugs, and music. Having said that though, a large part of this is necessary to illustrate the world they are a product of, indeed to show the only things that are deemed important to them, with fashion and celebrity taking a high precedence, but we know right from the beginning that they do end up in court, even though we only get the briefest glimpse of the aftermath of the criminal proceedings for one of the characters, giving the piece a decidedly flimsy feel to it.
The group of young larcenists represent one side of the symbiotic see-saw that bobs up and down with the vagaries of fame and celebrity. They most notably, and frequently, target the house of Paris Hilton, who allowed the film crew to use her actual house in the movie, effectively letting her use ‘The Bling Ring’ as another publicity vehicle, and no doubt making a nice profit from the shoot in the process. It’s a clever move for her, so long as it doesn’t result in copycat robberies, or a sort of rite of passage for young bratlings to break into her house. A great deal of irony in the film itself then, but overall it simply becomes very tedious watching the group do the same thing over and over again for the duration of the film, something which wasn’t overly interesting in the first place.