[font=Arial][color=darkred]The film opens up with three 10-year-old best friends burying a box of wishes and dreams and promising to be bestest friends forever and ever. They make a pact to come back and dig up the box on the night of their high school graduation. Flash to the present and the word "bestest" isn't what it used to be.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Lucy (Britney Spears) has become the virginal nerd preparing to give her speech as valedictorian. Kit (Zoe Saldana) has become the haughty popular snob, obsessed over getting married ever since she got her first Bridal Barbie. Mimi (Taryn Manning) is pregnant and become the trailer trash girl that everyone sees fit to remind her of. Despite their growth apart they all do come together to reopen their box of dreams. Mimi informs the others that she plans to head to California to audition for a record deal in an open contest.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Kit decides to use this opportunity to check up on her boyfriend at UCLA who has been strangely evasive. Lucy complains that by having her nose in a book her entire high school experience she never got to go to a football game or even "hang out." Somewhere a small violin is playing. She decides to jump at this chance and possibly see her mother in Arizona, who ran out on Lucy and her father (Dan Aykroyd) when she was only 3.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The wheels of their adventure are provided by guitar-playing mystery Ben (Anson Mount). He pilots them on their travels to the Pacific coast, though the girls think he might have killed someone, but oh well. Much girl power ensues.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Crossroads is filled to the brim with every imaginable road trip cliché. The girls "open up" after getting drunk, have a scuffle in a bar, reap in the sights of nature, and perhaps create some sparks of romance with their hunky heartthrob of a driver. The car also inevitably breaks down and the girls have to find a way to scrape some quick cash together. They enter in a karaoke contest and Britney proceeds to butcher Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" with her two gal pals providing backup. They rake in the dough, possibly because this is one "karaoke bar" that has a pole in it. You figure it out.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]But no, this isn't the last time you'll hear Ms. Brit sing. In an effort to pad as well as become a showcase for its star, Crossroads gives us many scenes of the girls just singing to the radio. Besides Jett, Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like a Woman" and Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy" are also on the chopping block. You'll also be accosted by the movie's single "Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" several times, including one scene where Poet Britney is asked to share her poem and it ends up being the song's lyrics. I dare anyone not to laugh.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Minus a friendly "ya'll," Britney really has only two acting styles, either her glazed over stare or her nose-crinkling come hither smile. Saldana (Center Stage) is not given much, as the attention is always centered on Britney, so she merely comes off like the token conceited character. Only Taryn Manning (crazy/beautiful) comes away with a little dignity. She gives Mimi a lot more heart than should be there and shows some honest reflections for her character. She also, coincidentally enough, looks like a dead ringer for Joan Jett with her black bangs.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Crossroads is nothing but a star vanity project for Spears, with some not-so-subliminal Pepsi product placement here and there. This was not a script looking for a lead; this was something Britney's management team suited for her, and Crossroads is perfectly suited for Britney. It allows for many ogling periods of Britney booty shaking. The majority of the film's drama doesn't even concern her, and when she does have to act her scenes are cut short to save her when the real drama unfolds. The movie's true intentions are revealed when Britney is shown in her pink underwear twice in the first 15 minutes.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Crossroads coasts along on gratuitous skin shots of Spears half-naked body every 20 minutes (possibly in an effort to keep the male members of the audience awake) until it reaches its torture chamber of a final act. In this very melodramatic period we get abandonment, date rape, infidelity, and even a miscarriage in one of the film's most shameless plot devices. Of course none of these horrors matter, especially a psychologically damaging miscarriage, because Britney has to get to her [b]BIG[/b] audition in order to perform, yep you guessed it, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman." She also has to wear what looks like kitchen drapes while she sings.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]The real question is what audience is Crossroads intended for and what messages will be beamed to them? Britney's core fan base consists of 8-12 year-old girls (as was evidenced in my theater). To think that these kids are watching their idol get drunk, shake her bon-bon, and lecture about losing your virginity during a special occasion only to sleep with a guy she just met is more than a little troubling.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]You'll walk out of the theater wondering many things. Like, why does Britney sing a song called "Overprotected" during the end credits when her father allows her to wear what looks like articles of clothing that would come from a call girl's garage sale? Why does Britney wear pink in [b]EVERY[/b] single scene she's in? There's even one scene where she changes from a pink top to another pink top and is [b]FOLDING[/b] a third pink top into a suitcase. Are we to believe that Aykroyd and Spears share some kind of genetics? In what high school would Britney with her head-to-toe tan, taut stomach and bleached teeth be considered a nerd? And in what God-less universe is Britney Spears valedictorian?[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Hopefully Crossroads will be the pop princess' last foray into film, but I strongly doubt this is the last we've seen of Britney Spears. Crossroads is a terrible girl-power trip. Only Spears' target demographic will enjoy this melodramatic mess. Truly, the two largest groups that will see this film are adolescent girls and creepy older men who fawn after adolescent girls. Crossroads is exactly everything you'd expect from a film with Britney Spears as the star.[/color][/font]
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: F[/color][/font]
Plot/Story: Predictable, & (again) cliche. Three girls start out as the best of friends at their childhood, but then later on end up losing their friendship years later over nothing. Later on they wish to go out into the world & chase their dreams. We've seen it before, & it does nothing special.
Acting/Performances: Well done. Britney Spears actually gives a good performance despite this being her first ever big role in a film. However, Britney is just not meant to be in movies. She's not a bad actress, she's not cut out to be one.
Script/Dialogue: Once again, it's all cliche, & not to mention really corny. The dialogue in here is like they were given to them by some guy who enjoys writing the same stuff over & over again in a drama film. It was horrible, & laughable.
Characters: Britney is just Britney. No way in hell will anyone see her as "Lucy" in this film. The characters are the most uncreative & unoriginal people you'll see in a film (hell even their names are uncreative). Britney's character may as well just have jumped off a cliff, while the other two (excluding the guy) should have just joined her.
But other than that, the main focus of the film was Britney herself, the other 2 characters may as well not have been even added. They were useless & pointless.
Final summation, this film grabs all the most obvious & biggest cliches, & then pastes them all together to make a film mainly focused on Britney.
The whole "teen coming of age" movie theme has been done so many times before and here Britney and her pals get bombarded with some pretty heavy issues to deal with which have little or no impact on them.
Lucy meets her deadbeat mother (Kim Cattrall from Sex in the City) who tells her that she regretted having her, she loses her virginity to a guy she barely knows, Kit (Zoe Saldana) learns that her boyfriend is a cheat and a rapist and Mimi suffers a miscarriage. Things have happened, yet no lessons have been learned, and no apparent changes have been made. The funniest part in the whole movie was when Lucy's dad (Dan Aykroyd) asked her who the guy was and she said that he was just giving her a "ride."