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CROSSROADS

SYNOPSIS:
Lucy (Britney Spears), Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning) are three childhood friends who re-unite on prom night and dig up a time capsule they buried eight years ago. Each teen discovers their lost dreams. Free-spirit Kit is several months pregnant. Uptight Mimi has battled weight loss. And thanks to her protective father (Dan Aykroyd) Lucy has never met her mother. A trip to L.A. to audition for a record company might be just the break they need, so the girls grab a ride with stubbly-faced musician Ben (Anson Mount) and have some fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
Is this the worst film ever made by a pop star? Worse than Mariah Carey in Glitter, Prince in Under The Cherry Moon, Mick Jagger in Freejack and Dolly Parton in Straight Talk. Slap down your hard-earned bucks at the box office and brave a cinema full of Spears devotees and decide for yourself. What you'll witness is an amateurish piece of girly bonding as three unappealing young ladies make their way from Georgia to LA without a cent in their pockets and only a song in their hearts. A handy talent because Britney and her back-up singers prove how easy it is to afford cross-country trips when you can whip up winning routines at karaoke nights. Especially when your outfits make you look like you've already spent a few years trawling 42nd St. But wait - Britney's the virgin daughter of single dad/car mechanic Dan Aykroyd when she starts this trip so there is much tension as we watch her get closer to guitarist/driver driver Ben (Anson Mount). Will she or won't she? Your heart really goes out to these addle-brained youngsters who are caught up in all sorts of existential nightmares. 'I was up there getting my diploma and I thought, is this it?', says poor rich kid Kit whose biggest problem is that she's prettier than her mother. If only Ingmar Bergman could have distilled the essence of sorrow with such searing impact. Spears' sickly wholesomeness is just the beginning of what's wrong with this ghastly concoction. It may be loved by a section of its target audience but there's nothing here for anyone else. At one point she sings 'I'm not a girl, I'm not a woman'. The next line should be 'I'm also not an actress'. Pathetic beyond belief.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Oops.. It's happened again, another pop star singing pop songs on the big screen. I smell another Glitter, which tried really hard not to sound like the true story of Mariah Carey's life. Crossroads, starring the world's most infamous "virgin" Britney Spears, is a similar "search for your long lost mother" movie, but it avoids any preachy bigger pictures and isn't focused on one self-centred individual. Here you get three. But let's not fool ourselves; Crossroads will be known as nothing other than Britney Spears’ first movie. It seems to have been made specifically to launch her acting career. There's no motive for her little miss perfect character to join the road trip other than to let Britney lose her virginity and sing a few pop songs along the way. Miss Spears - thanks to a sugary-sweet but utterly manipulative script - emerges unscathed. She's a winning leading lady with that poodle haircut, those big brown eyes and that cheeky grin. She's cute-as-a-button in a Joey Potter kind of way, and although she's yet to lose the puppy fat she clearly lost the training bra years ago. She's also permanently clad in baby pink or powder blue clothes, which is ironic given the film's hook is her poem that becomes a pop-song called "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman." Those lyrics were not written by Miss Spears, but they cleverly capture the spirit of Britney's lyrics, which coyly circle around the singer's self-confessed chastity. Reading the poem drew audible groans and giggles from the audience. The song later on tested the limits of Britney's fandom. But I'm sure Crossroads will do her career no harm. After all, 90 per cent of the audience filing out of the cinema were girls under 16 with slim builds and tight tops. Almost all had content smiles on their faces - as did I, but in a state of bemused irony at this sad parade. It might be too harsh to say Crossroads plays like a 96-minute Britney music video, but it's only a G-string away.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

CROSSROADS (M)
(US)

CAST: Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, Anson Mount, Taryn Manning, Justin Long

PRODUCER: Ann Carli

DIRECTOR: Tamra Davis

SCRIPT: Shonda Rhymes

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eric Alan Edwards

EDITOR: Melissa Kent

MUSIC: Trevor Jones (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake – songs)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Waldemar Kalinowski

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 18, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: October 9, 2002







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