Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
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.