It was a great story, a crazy intersection of fame, wannabe-fame and a lot of stolen property. The so-called "Bling Ring" was a group of affluent teen-agers from the Los Angeles suburbs who, in 2008-09, robbed the homes of such TMZ-faves as Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge and Lindsay Lohan. They took cash, drugs, jewelry and designer clothing, which they wore out to clubs. For the gang, acquiring the trappings of fame was easier than becoming famous (even "famous-for-nothing" like some of their marks).
Sofia Coppola's film is inspired by these real-life events –—the names are changed, but the gist remains the same. But Coppola's languid style takes some of the verve out of the tale. It has its moments — there's some comedy and a slender critique of our celeb-and-bling-obsessed state — but much of the film falls back on the hazy ennui of these kids' Valley milieu. Disaffected teens endlessly duck-facing for selfies isn't as much fun to watch as, say, a cutting satire, or a campy bad-girl film. It may have been intended as provocative realism, but I felt as world-weary as these teens — and I wasn't even wearing Hilton's pilfered shoes.