It’s Britney, bitch. A bunch of estranged BFFs embark on a cross-country road trip when they each find that they are unsatisfied with their life in a different way. Can they see all of their dreams regarding their mother/fiance/singing career go up in smoke and still find that friendship is forever (and maybe also get the guy)? Find out in… Crossroads.
How?! Britney Spears is a high school senior that has drifted away from her childhood friends. When she and those friends realize how far they have strayed from their childhood dreams they set out on a road trip in hopes of finding what each covet. Girl genius Britney Spears wants to meet her mom before heading to college, stuck-up Kit wants to see her fiance at UCLA, and pregnant Mimi wants to see the world and try her hand at getting a record deal before having her baby. As they journey across the country they find that they’ve been missing their friendship the whole time (aww). They also find that Britney Spears got some serious pipes and stage presence when she wins them a boatload of cash in a big New Orleans karaoke competition. When Britney Spears finally gets to her mom’s house she learns that her mom doesn’t want to see her and considers her a mistake. Finding solace in the company of her friends they continue on to LA where Kit figures out that her fiance is actually the father of Mimi’s child from when he raped her (woah!). Mimi then runs away only to fall down the stairs resulting in a miscarriage (holy shit! I thought this was a lighthearted tale of friendship and discovery!). Despite all this they decide they have to give that singing competition one shot and of course Britney Spears blows away the competition and wins the hearts and minds of America. THE END.
Why?! At the beginning for the film Britney Spears, Kit, and Mimi all find themselves at a spot in their lives where they need something. While Mimi obviously feels like she needs to see the world before having a baby, Britney Spears and Kit just feel like something is missing even when from the outside it would seem that their lives are great. The roadtrip is meant to work out those feeling… which is actually quite successful seeing as Kit was engaged a rapist before the roadtrip and is not engaged a rapist after the roadtrip. Mission accomplished.
What?! In some ways this whole movie is an advertisement for delicious Pepsi products which clearly give Britney her song powers. There is also the mysterious “blue beer bottle” that is the crux of the dramatic conclusion to the film, but it’s obviously fictional. It would have been great if it was a real beer where they were like, “so what’s our spot in the film going to be?” “Oh, uh… the rapist enjoys drinking your beer and the fact that he’s drinking it is how he is ultimately discovered and leads to the miscarriage of a baby.” “… we’re not paying for that.”
Who?! Not sure this had anyone of significance… other than the biggest superstar of our generation, duh. It’s Britney, bitch! Classic musician-turned-actress. She’s joined by her younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears who portrays a younger version of Britney. Throw in the band Bowling for Soup that makes a cameo playing at the postgraduation party and we got a veritable murderer’s row of musical talent sprinkled into this masterpiece.
Where?! Road Trip alert! This could almost be its own little challenge as we map out BMT road trip movies by the locations that they explicitly hit. This was pretty clear as they start in Georgia, head into Alabama, skip MS because fuck ‘em, spend a long time in New Orleans where they become karaoke superstars (welcome to the club), head into Texas, stop in Arizona, before finishing in sunny Los Angeles. I give it a B+ as it’s as good as you can get without putting down stakes in a single location.
When?! Finally an exact date. We get a brief glimpse of the flier for the singing competition Britney and her friends participate in. While I was not enjoying Crossroads in 4K UltraHD (I wish), I still am pretty sure it said that the competition was taking place on June 16th, which makes sense with the film opening on their high school graduation.
This movie is like a rollercoaster ride (if rollercoasters mostly headed downwards). When it started I was like “Yo, Britney Spears can act, bro… She’s Britney, bitch.” She has a scene at the beginning of the film where she is supposed to be upset because she’s had her whole life pass her by in pursuit of a dream she realizes she never wanted in the first place. That’s pretty emotionally complex. It’s not like “Imagine your dog died” crying. This is like “you’re crying but you’re also confused and you don’t want to upset your dad.” And, spoiler alert, she pulled it off! Add on top of that a scene with Justin Long that is the only funny part in the entire film and I was thinking I might actually somehow be digging Crossroads starring Britney, bitch. Then it started a slow and steady descent downwards until it hit an ending that is so ludicrous and bad that I remembered that Crossroads was a really bad movie. Also Britney Spears can’t sing, which is a tough look. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Not a sklooooooooooog, not yet an … older skloooooooooog. Britney’s back jack, with a whole gang of ladies ready to sing and dance and travel across the country. What could go wrong? Let’s get into it!
The Good – Actually a pretty good road trip film. Got friends learning to love again, and you visit like … four goddamn states. Britney and Zoe Saldana are decent actors. They don’t pull any punches with the drama concerning the mother’s storyline. All in all, kind of surprising. Not a good film, but it has a lot more good elements than you would expect.
P’s View on the Preview – The most interesting thing in this preview was, oddly, that all of a sudden the bottom IMDb list looks … normal. So, here it is two years ago. The bottom film on that page has a rating of 2.8, which is … quite low. Here it is now. What the F-ing F?!?! NOTE! Nothing on that page has changed, not even the purported threshold of 1500 votes. That bottom title is even lower and has over 1500 votes. Suspicious, but also I think ultimately a good thing. For the record it changed at some point between July 8th and July 14th according to the Internet Archive, so good on me to noticing it I suppose. I do not think the method to the madness will be able to be discerned unfortunately.
The Bad – Most of the acting is terrible. The singing is universally terrible. The film feels … exploitative (see my rant). It possibly has the worst twist in cinematic history. Seriously, I don’t even want to say what it is … except Jamie already did, but Kit’s fiance raped her friend and they solve the mystery based on the beer he is drinking?! Get the F outta here! The most ridiculous thing is that it is pretty clear Anson Mount is supposed to be in his 20s and macking on just-18 Britney Spears … its gross. Give me Monte Carlo any day … even though I kind of love this film.
Get Yo Rant On – The film opens with Britney Spears (a 20 year old Britney Spears) dancing in her underwear. We soon see her, again, in her underwear with Justin Long. Later she does a sexy dance karaoke scene to get money. It feel exploitative. It feels like people trying to capitalize on Britney Spears in a kind of gross way. I don’t really need to say more, it isn’t really my place to be outraged by this, but it still felt gross in a way only having watched this when I was like … 17 and then again at 30 managed to do. I didn’t like it. End rant.
The BMT – Unlike a few of the previous films (Anaconda in particular) I think having watched this before helped immensely on the rewatch. I would gladly watch this film with other people to make fun of the terrible twist and terrible singing. And I think it can stand proudly with the disturbing number of films we’ve seen starring pop icons.
Welcome to Earf – Let’s see. Dan Aykroyd is in Crossroads and Nothing But Trouble with Demi Moore who is in Striptease with Burt Reynolds who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – Mentioned in passing in this Rolling Stones article. A lot of small blogs mention it with the same tired joke (“Not a singer, not yet an actress” is the gist of it). It has the cred, I know it because of the IMDb bottom 100, it just barely seems to predate popular bad movie lists coming out online.
No homework (unless you count the number of times I saw this film as a child), so I’ll just leave it there.