Dreams and skin stand at the ‘Crossroads’

Director: Tamra Davis

(Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, Dan Ackroyd & Kim Cattrall)

PG-13

“Dude, gotta catch Britney Spears in her underwear.” This is the response I got from guys when I asked why they would want to see Crossroads, the new teen movie that stars – well, you know.

Crossroads is the story of three giggling girls and their quest to become three giggling women. The plot lacks, shall we say, nuance. It appears to be based upon a dumbed-down version of the lyrics of Britney’s song, “Not a Girl,” which is replayed in the movie three migraine-inducing times.

The story begins with Lucy (Britney Spears), Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning), promising to be friends forever. The movie’s strange premise is that, among women, such promises are death warrants for friendship. By senior year of high school, they have fallen apart. Lucy, who dreams of being a singer, is busy with school work because her loving father (Dan Ackroyd) wants her to be a doctor. Kit has become a beauty queen engaged to a freshman in a California college. Mimi is trailer park trash who got raped by an unknown man.

To rekindle their friendship, they embark on a road trip with the gorgeous, sensitive, guitar-plucking Ben (Anson Mount). While on the drive, they end up in normal road trip genre predicaments. They sing for money, experience car break downs and nearly giveup.

The director, Tamra Davis, was actually legitimate up to the time she agreed to do this movie. She directed such fine movies as Half-Baked and CB-4. Why did she let herself get involved with this piece of crap? I have two theories: she has the hots for Britney or she figures she will make tons of money because zillions of people will take leave of their minds in order to catch their 1,000th glimpse of Britney’s belly button.

The director clearly understands the power of the skin-to-clothes ratio. Britney finds herself wearing underwear, a towel and some sexy dance clothes that her two supporting actresses couldn’t fit into if they got liposuction.

Sounds pretty good, huh? Be forewarned: It is not so. Britney’s scantily clad moments lead nowhere. Boys, this movie is aimed at women. We can’t even get surrogate satisfaction by relating to the lead male role, Ben. Mostly, he sleeps alone and eats by using a knife and fork to consume food. He has, nevertheless, an important role as eye candy for the three giggling adolescents while they morph into, well, three giggling post-pubescents.

There are moments where the film is almost bearable. It seemed to me that, on occasion, Britney did act to a certain point, although it may be she was exceeding my low expectations. I was slightly moved by the Ben/Britney totally unconsummated love interest. Britney has a certain sparkle in her eyes – an “I’m lusting for you” look – that makes me suspect she would be an outstanding porno star.

 

– Nicholas Conant

Crossroads is showing
nationwide