Crossroads

"Terrible"

Crossroads Review


Britney Spears, the young queen of pop, has hit a fork in her career. With several hit albums under her arm and millions of dollars in her pockets, I guess she figures the time is right to rediscover the acting talent she had as a child as a member of The All New Mickey Mouse Club. She is one of many recent female pop divas that have also tried, unsuccessfully, to cross the boundary from music to film. And if Britney is looking to reveal that hidden talent with her work in Crossroads, her feature film debut, she better look elsewhere.

Spears plays Lucy, the beautiful but brainy valedictorian of her graduating high school class in a small Georgia town. She can carry a tune, but her divorced dad (Dan Aykroyd, in a role we've seen from him too many times before) has decided she will not study music in college but will instead study to become a doctor. Because of her focus on studying, she has missed out on the high school experience and has lost touch with two close childhood friends. After graduation, the three girls put their differences aside and reinvent their friendship by digging up a time capsule they planted as kids. Ah, they have something in common after all: The desire to get out of their small down. Lucy, the all-American girl, wants to meet the mother who left her at age three; Kit (Zoe Saldana), the fashion queen, wants to see her fiancé at UCLA; Mimi (Taryn Manning), the expecting mother, wants to pursue a singing career. And Mimi's mysterious guitar-playing friend Ben (Anson Mount) agrees to take the girls on a road trip to California in his '73 Buick convertible.

Their journey is littered with problems. The car breaks down and requires the trio to spend their entire trip money to fix it. Desperate to raise cash, Lucy sells her body to passers-by -- uh, wait a minute -- I mean, the girls enter a karaoke contest, where Lucy wows the crowd with her rendition of "I Love Rock and Roll." In an instant, the once shy valedictorian has become a singing diva, exercising the moves of a seasoned pop star. But wait, Lucy is Britney Spears - of course she can dance!

From that point on, the melodrama is piled on so thick it becomes too difficult to emotionally identify with these characters' struggles. Lucy is somehow able to locate her mom but painfully learns her mother has no desire to pursue a relationship with her. Kit learns her fiancé is sleeping with another woman and at the same time, discovers he caused Mimi's unplanned pregnancy. And then Mimi falls down a flight of stairs and loses her baby! Ben is so smitten by Lucy that he writes music to accompany one of her poems (lyrics to Britney's song "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman") - which starts a very adult romance between the two.

The film bounces between this slow moving, sappy melodrama and what amount to music video performances by Lucy and her Pips (Kit and Mimi). Every event is so well choreographed that the outcome of each storyline can be predicted well before it unfolds on screen. Not one performance is the least bit convincing, especially Spears', whose attempts at drama garnered giggles and sneers from my audience -- which might explain why her character's "emotional" visit with mom is relegated off-camera.

Crossroads does nothing to enhance what precious little acting talent Spears has, turning into a shameless promotion of her music and her image. In just the first 15 minutes, we watch Spears dance around her room in skimpy pajamas, strip down to her bra and underwear during a striptease for her chemistry lab partner, and dry off from a shower in their seedy roadside motel room. No opportunity to linger on her body is passed by through the rest of the film, either. In terms of the music, we only get two slightly palatable numbers that are performed with the force of a real pop star, not the inexperienced character that Spears is supposed to be portraying.

At least Mariah Carey's Glitter fared even worse than this. But Spears' efforts in Crossroads will not make her a movie star either, and I'll be very surprised to see her turn up in another lead role. The only real question is if Crossroads will actually hurt her career. Will video kill this radio star? Stay tuned!

Well, she's not dead yet, but her DVD is no better than the theatrical version of this dog, despite a gazillion extras from deleted scenes to music videos to a commentary track. No, Britney doesn't offer her cogent thoughts here, she is instead relegated to perhaps the most worthless DVD extra I've ever seen: Buried on the disc is a special "introduction" from her that lasts about 10 seconds and consists of her speaking to the camera saying, "Ha, Ah'm Britney Spears, 'nd Ah loved makin' Crossroads." Also worth noting: Director Tamra Davis believes Britney is a "so good!" actress.

Uh, no.

Girl, you'll be a woman. Soon.



Crossroads

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th February 2002

Box Office USA: $37.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $5.7M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 89

IMDB: 3.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Eugene Martone, Joe Seneca as Willie Brown, as Frances, as Scratch's Assistant, Robert Judd as Scratch, as Jack Butler, Tim Russ as Robert Johnson, as Lloyd, Harry Carey, Jr. as Bartender

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Advertisement
Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.