Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Crossroads

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and brief teen drinking

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens
Genre:
Romance Comedy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 34 min.
Year of Release:
2002

Starring: Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, Dan Aykroyd | Directed by: Tamra Davis | Produced by: Ann Carli | Written by: Shonda Rhimes, Trevor Jones, Shaonda Rhimes | Distributor: Paramount Pictures

She is the most key-word-searched celebrity on the Internet. She dons more magazine covers than any other celebrity. She is at the center of Pepsi’s multi-million dollar ads. She is the youngest artist to have an album go Platinum. She is the favorite and most requested artist that MTV has from pre-teen girls.

So it’s not surprising that Hollywood has tailored a film role (with her help) for this former mouseketeer. By now I’m sure you know who we’re talking about—Britney Spears. Parents have a love-hate relationship with her music and teen/babe image. While she has recorded some positive songs for the younger generation, this 20-year-old continues to wear shockingly revealing clothing and records new music with suggestive lyrics. I’ll never forget her interview on “Rosie” who complimented Miss Spears and told her, “You are too beautiful to dress like you do.”

“Crossroads” contains an abundance of negative images for today’s youth. Don’t be fooled by the sugar-coating. Pre-marital and casual sex, social drinking, running away from home, and provocative clothing are all promoted. Britney opens the film by dancing in her underwear, then tries to lose her virginity (in her underwear, of course) and has casual sex under very shallow circumstances.

What’s wrong with this picture? First of all, the average age for those who purchase Britney’s music most is nine-year-old girls. Second, the average age of male admirers is over 40. These two facts collide to produce a film that contributes nothing positive to any audience. It’s no wonder that many parents have stereotyped her image as “trampy”. “Crossroads” is nothing more and nothing less than a glorified exhibition of Britney’s looks and her talent.

Spears tells the story of a teen from Georgia named Lucy. Britney, herself was born in Louisiana, so it’s not difficult for her to coo an occasional “y’all”. The film portrays her under the thumb of an overprotective single father (Dan Aykroyd). Lucy is the top in her high school graduating class, leading us to believe she’s one of the nerds. Yeah right! She and two friends made a childhood agreement at age 10, burying symbols of their dreams in a box. The decide to open the box after their graduation.

Mimi (Taryn Manning) reminds the girls of their promise. They all show up at the tree and relive some of those memories from long ago. Mimi then invites the girls on a road trip to CA. The trip serves a purpose for all three gals: Mimi wants to audition as a singer, Lucy wants to find her birth mother, and Kit (Zoe Saldana) wants to surprise her fiancée in college. Naturally, the way is paved with conflict in this contrived story. Quicker than you can say “cracked radiator,” the trio get to strut their stuff in a Karaoke bar. The movie is predictable right through to the very end (Pepsi product endorsements included).

Even the parental support shown is negative. I strongly urge parents and youth to avoid this MTV production at the theater and later resist the temptation to rent it. I underscore again that this film glorifies both casual and pre-marital sex; what a contradiction to her supposed support of abstinence. This film is reminiscent in theme to 1980’s “The Blue Lagoon”. “Crossroads” also has its share of profanity (Kids-in-Mind reports “1 obscene hand gesture, 1 scatological term, 5 sexual references, 5 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, 13 religious exclamations”). It sure was disappointing to see how young the audience was at the showing I attended. Let’s pray better role models show up, or that this one begins to clean up.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Negative
Negative—The picture was extremely offensive because Britney Spears is so influential. There was no dramatic need for her to have implied sex in the film. There was no dramatic need for the African American girl’s fiancee to ditch her, having given her a ring. She could easily have been simply engaged in a casual relationship that failed. There was no reason for the other Britney friend to be a rape victim of the African American friend’s fiance.

The whole movie has been contrived by the bad men and women of rock ’n roll to use Britney as a bad role model. Casual sex is a subject of intense interest to adolescents. It is not a case that it should not be dealt with, it is a case that it shoud be done in a way that does not glorify it and does not denigrate marriage. Britney has failed her fans. She is a singer not an advocate for the counter-culture.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 3]
—Bob, age 38
Negative—I find it very ironic that this film’s audience is supposed to be teens. All it did was glorify sex, drinking, and wearing revealing clothing. I do not recommend this film to anyone. Britney Spears has (once again) proved herself to be completely talentless.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 3]
—Jena, age 19
Negative—This movie had nothing offensive unless you count pre-marital sex, disobeying authority, seeing Britney’s behind, immodest dressing, cussing, drinking, lying, running away, or stealing. This movie was horrible. I think the only reason why it was popular was because everyone wanted to see if Britney could act.

Well, I will save your $5 + and tell you she can’t. Neither could the other actresses. It was horrible had a horrible ending and had some very immoral stuff along the way. Save Your Money! Tithe It Or Do Something With It Other Than Spending It On This Horrible Misrepresentation Of Entertainment.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2½]
—Blake Wolf, age 14
Negative—The ridiculous thing is, as the review mentioned, this film is aimed at NO ONE! The only people that really would want to see this (with some exceptions) would be preteens and tweens. Therefore, why is she talking about sex, having sex, running away, drinking, showing off her underwear, etc.? Who would that appeal to? Is my little sister really interested in that?

More importantly, there was going to be a topless scene in the movie, and it was filmed, but later cut. The girls were going to go flashing people at the hotel. This is ridiculous; why do little girls want to see this?!

The only people who want to see that are horny guys! But, they wouldn’t be interested in such a contrived plot. So… who is the target audience again? And, again, Britney’s consistency in her messages just makes her look like a foolish teenager (by no means an adult), and I’m ashamed to say that we’re in the same peer group, and she’s not the only one in our group acting that way.

Just imagine: if my generation is like that, what is she causing then next generation to do? She says parents should take care of that sort of thing; they can’t do everything…[Spears] should take responsibility for her influence and needs to wake up and understand. By the way, I’m borderline atheist, don’t go to church, etc. etc. and I STILL feel this way.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Jacki, age 18, non-Christian
Negative—Useless, pointless movie, that just allows Britney to make some money. The movie starts out right off the bat in high school with girls talking about how they can’t believe Lucy (Britney) is STILL a virgin.

Then a little later at a graduation party, she goes upstairs with her boyfriend of 3 years, and while they are sitting on the bed in their underwear, she makes him go over a list of reasons they have made up why they want to “do it.” But she backs off and they don’t.

After her and her other two friends leave for an LA talent contest, she falls in love with the guy who was a friend of Mimi, who drove them out there, and at the end they’re in the motel. He asks her if she really wants to “do it,” and she says yes, and he starts taking his shirt off, while she undoes her blouse, and the camera pans away to the ocean view outside the window. While never actually showing anything, it was no doubt implied that she has sex with the guy (This movie is so worthless I can’t even remember his name).

I was at this movie on opening night with my daughter who is 10, and figured any movie with Britney couldn’t be that bad. Well, I was wrong. 90% of the audience in attendance was girls 10 to 15. What kind of message does this send to them Britney? You could feel the audience squirm during these suggestive scenes. So maybe they realize that not everyone IS doing it.

A very sorry movie that I would go out of my way to steer young girls away from, as it has no believable plot, and only promotes casual sex. Stay with the Pepsi commercials Britney, that’s all you can handle!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1]
—John, age 47
Comments from young people
Neutral—I just saw this movie on opening night. I wasn’t very happy with this movie in general. I’m not a Brittany Spears fan at all because of her provocative dressing and how she says that she is a strong Christian but doesn’t stand behind what she believs in. In this movie Brittany dress like a normal person, but she doesn’t turn down prematital sex, tho she does say that she should wait until you find the right one. This movie was pretty pointless.

This movie had nothing to look forward to at then end except for the credits. This movie was also very unrealistic… Three teenagers running away with a complete stranger and not even planning ahead with their money and what not. I would have to give this a thumbs down… but with Brittany’s dressing… Thumbs up!
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Susan, age 15
Positive—…No, this wasn’t a great movie, but hey, look at the poster, it says “Britney Spears” right there for you. That should be your signal whether you should or shouldn’t attend this movie. For a Britney fan, this is a fun, happy film. For the rest of us, we should have known better.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Teen, age 18
Movie Critics
…sends mixed and disappointing messages… Despite Britney’s public comments about saving herself for marriage, her character is shown in bed with Ben, implying they’ve had premarital sex…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…1 obscene hand gesture, 1 scatological term, 5 sexual references, 5 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, 13 religious exclamations…
—Kids-in-Mind