23 March 2013

Spring Breakers: A Black Eye for the Tampa Bay Region?

On Friday, 22 March 2013 I had the opportunity to watch the premiere of the movie Spring Breakers, which was filmed in a lot of St. Petersburg area locations.  The Sunshine Skyway Bridge was featured significantly in the movie as well as St. Pete Beach, not to mention night scenes of St. Petersburg's 34th Street North (which we also know as US 19) from 13th Avenue North to 5th Avenue North.
Now here is my impression of Spring Breakers right after I left the movie:  This movie should not have been rated R; instead, it should have been rated NC-17 for all the constant nudity and violence all throughout the movie.  In fact, Spring Breakers has cast the Tampa Bay region in a black eye, and this article by Beau Zimmer at 10 News (WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg's CBS affiliate) says it all:  "Worst movie ever".
Perhaps Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine should have thought better before picking the Tampa Bay region and the beaches of the Pinellas Suncoast for this kind of a movie.  I know, when a major motion picture comes here to our region it helps our region's economy by bringing in a lot of temporary jobs among other things; however, when it comes to the subject matter of a movie it's a different thing.
After all, the Tampa Bay region - consisting of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater - is one of the great places in Florida, in fact, the nation, to live and work.  We got mile after mile of great beaches for your family to enjoy, not to mention the many attractions we have here (in fact, the major Orlando area attractions are a 90 minute drive away on Interstate 4!).  We got a great international airport, Tampa International Airport, which is one of the best airports in the United States.  We also have the picturesque Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a part of Interstate 275, well worth the $1.50 toll.
In short, there is a lot of great things the Tampa Bay region has to offer, whether you come to visit or decide to make the Tampa Bay region your home.  Don't let what you have seen in Spring Breakers give you a negative impression of what the Tampa Bay region is all about.
And one more thing:  Don't take your children to see Spring Breakers, period.  Being rated R (which should have been NC-17 in my book), Spring Breakers is not suitable for your children.

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