by Laura Kyle
Lucy, Kit, Mimi, and Ben. Those aren’t names from a Barbie doll set – those are the names of the four main characters of Crossroads. If a writer is already fumbling with the names of his or her characters, then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the actual lines these characters will say and events they will experience propose an impossible challenge for said writer. So, the script shoots the movie straight in the foot. What do you do? Put BRITNEY SPEARS in the starring role.Mrs. Federline is, if I can decipher her “acting,” a levelheaded young adult, just fresh of graduation. She’s the valedictorian of her class, but quickly discovers that none of her hard work has really paid off – she’s sad, because her dad (Dan Akroyd, who I swear must be on the winning end of a bet to see if he could appear in at least 2 bad movies a year) pushed her too hard and made her sacrifice her social life for good grades. Poor Lucy.
"It’s better than Glitter."
So, on a whim, she decides to go on a road trip, because you see, road trips are what you do to find yourself and stuff, blah blah blah. Or in the case of Crossroads, they are a great excuse to sing songs together in the car. I think that happens at least three hundred times; hey, you can't make a Britney Spears movie without tagging a horrid soundtrack to it, and SOMETHING had to happen to make this thing a full-length motion picture.
Anyways, her real goal is to hunt down the mother who abandoned her when she was just three years old. Yeah, Crossroads certainly is dealing with some heavy subject matter here. Groundbreaking stuff. Did I mention that on the way to track down the mother she hasn’t seen in over a decade, she sings to the radio with her friends a lot?
Well, the plan is for her to be dropped off in Arizona and spontaneously reunite with her deadbeat mom, and then for her two girlfriends to continue on to California. Kit wants to meet with her fiancé in LA and Mimi, though pregnant, wants to audition for some kind of music thing. Oh, and also, there’s a brooding guy named Ben who chaperones them – he has a job waiting for him in California. He’s there to deflower Lucy basically.
All of these characters are from Georgia. And all, but Lucy, have some reason or circumstance that compels them to go to California.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, these people were all friends to begin with – certainly you wouldn’t go on a road trip with people you don’t like. Well, no. Lucy, Kit, and Mimi were best friends as little girls, but for no apparent reason, they all became hostile strangers in high school. But, because they somehow all have some weird itch to travel, they go on this road trip together.
Right from the beginning, they are strapped for cash, and of course, there happens to be a karaoke contest nearby. So, Kit, Mimi, and Lucy sign up and promptly dress like sluts. During their singing performance, soloist Mimi freezes up on stage and Lucy must take over. Suddenly: she’s hot and sexy! Singing “I Love Rock and Roll”! She’s FOUND HERSELF! She was just hiding under things like clothes – brilliant character development here.
So, basically, the girls start to realize, hey, they like each other! I’m not sure why it took them so long to figure this out, because there is never an explanation given as to why they hated each other in the first place. Zoe Saldana, as the snobby Kit, just makes exaggerated body movements and lots of dirty looks in an attempt to come off as well, “snobby” – I mean that’s stuff you can only learn in Advanced Acting Class right there.
But frankly, every cast member in this thing is looking darn good next to Britney Spears. And the fact that Spears pulled off a pretty decent sobbing scene in the last third of the movie, doesn’t support her cause, it just takes credit away from everyone who’s ever cried on cue, in the history of cinema. Because if Britney Spears can do it, ANYONE can.
Now, I know Spears must stay in character and be believable as a Southern girl, but it’d be nice if she had the decency to pronounce words correctly for at least a quarter of the sentences she supposedly REHEARSED. I can’t imagine how she talks at the dinner table. Her performance here is lazy and unnatural – if your mother could take out a movie, rather than baby photos, to embarrass you in front of all your friends… well, this would be that movie for Britney.
The lyrics to Britney’s real-life hit “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” (based on the film) initially serve as a poem written by Lucy, and let’s just say, it can’t compare to: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Who pays money to see this poo?”
And where were these supposed “crossroads”? Not a single decision made by the characters makes any sense or instills any kind of redeeming message into the brains of the little kiddies watching. Lucy loses her virginity to a guy she JUST met, and chooses to follow a newly dreamt up plan to become a singer, over going to college… looks like she misinterpreted that Robert Frost poem.
Crossroads, my ass… maybe if you took the DVD of the movie and threw it out into an intersection to be flattened by oncoming traffic, would it live up to its title.But who am I kidding? There’s no way anyone involved in this thing actually read the screenplay before green lighting it, or perhaps they got too caught up in the i’s dotted with hearts to care about the script’s – excuse me while I laugh out loud in mid sentence – substance.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5756&reviewer=369
originally posted: 03/08/05 14:36:06