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Cinematic Hell: Crossroads (2002)
What is it with Cinematic Hell and pop star Movies? Seriously, these kinds of movies are all over the God Damn place! Ugh... anyway let's just see what's on the repentance list today. Oh... WOW!
Yes, even Britney Spears tried being an actress at one time. Well I guess there's a small blessing when it comes to Crossroads. It's the only movie Britney Spears has ever really been in (unless you count Fahrenheit 9/11). Unlike movies like Glitter or Spice World, Crossroads actually tries to be a movie with a plot and all of those other things that you know a MOVIE should have. However even though this film's script and the film's director Tamara Davis try to give us something more than a pop star vanity project, Crossroads is still one of the most incoherent movies I've ever seen. It's a list of things you should NOT do when making a teen Drama. We might as well get this over with... this is the Britney Spears magnum disaster Crossroads.
Lucy (Britney Spears), Kit (Zoe Saldana) and some pregnant girl named Mimi were once childhood friends who buried their "wishes" in a box. On the night of their high school graduation, they will dig it up and... I'm not sure. But High School has turned these childhood friends into unbearable teenage idiots. Through some contrivance a road trip is planned to.... you guessed, California. Mimi wants to be a singer, Kit wants to get married to her college boyfriend and Lucy wants to reconnect with her long lost mother (Kim Cattrall). So by the sound of things, this movie is an actual movie that just happens to have Britney Spears in it right? Well... NO. At least not really. Even though this movie tries so hard to be about self discovery, coming of age and it even has a love story nobody cares about. There's at least 3 musical moments completely written into the movie for Britney (two of which are versions of that terrible song "I'm not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman") and a part of this movie does focus on Britney losig her virginity. Yes I am serious.
The love story is like I said very boring and stale. Lucy has this thing with Ben (Anson Mount) and honestly I have no idea why. Yes just like in a lot of other bad movies our two romantic leads have zero chemistry. Not to mention both Lucy and Ben have no real character traits or any real personality. In fact, every character seems to have that problem in this movie. Lucy is just any bland dreamer in this movie, Kit is a spoiled rich brat, Mimi is the pregnant girl (that's literally her character arc) and Ben is just an edgy guy with a heart of gold. At first, I thought Ben might have a character arc because it's revealed he had time in prison. We are all led to believe he actually killed someone. But it turns out he went to prison for saving her sister from an abusive stepfather (apparently there's a law about taking a minor across state lines or something). So he went to prison for being SO WONDERFUL. Blow me Crossroads!
The acting in this movie is for the most part okay. Zoe Saldana actually does quite well in one of her earlier roles even with a script so amateurish that you swear it came form a high school student. Kim Cattrall is ok I guess she's only in here for two minutes and the girl playing Mimi is probably the best actress in the movie (that's not really saying much). When it comes to Britney Spears.... yeah she's terrible. No surprise there to be sure but I will say unlike Mariah Carey or Madonna, Britney actually tries to act in this movie. However, she just can't act. I've never seen a woman so lost in a film role before. She's completely out of her element and boy does it show whenever she has to deliver a line. The only time Britney ever shines in this movie is when... you guessed it, she sings. Even though "I'm not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" is probably one of the worst Britney songs put there, she sings it ok I guess and her rendition of "I Love Rock and Roll" is obnoxious but fun in a trashy way.
But we need to answer one big question, how and why does Crossroads fail? That's easy in this case, it has no idea how to handle drama or any of its story arcs. The whole self discovery and coming of age thing doesn't really happen naturally for any of these teens. Lucy wants to reconnect with her mother but is thrown out by said mother. But.. .we don't get to see that. Whatever bad thing that is said to Lucy happens off screen and is quickly forgotten after about 3 or 4 minutes. Kit spends the majority of the film's running time acting like a total bitch and yet we're suppose to feel sorry for her when it turns out her boyfriend date raped Mimi and conceived a child resulting from that event. The date rape thing and Mimi losing the baby are also not handled very well. Again, we spend maybe 5 minutes of sadness and crying before cutting to the terrible song that haunts this movie's soundtrack. Mimi is really the only sympathic character in the movie and even then her character arc isn't handled well either. She cries for her unborn child for about 2 or 3 minutes and then is all happy again with no recollection of the miscarriage. My point is this movie has no idea how to handle it's serious themes and of course any arc the characters o the story is either forgotten about. or just not executed to it's full potential.
Crossroads might not be the worst movie I had to sit through, but it's one of the silliest and most incoherent movies ever. The fact that this movie was made simply to make Britney Spears a real actress is just a small problem compared to everything else that's wrong. The acting is a joke, the music is unbearable at times, the characters are cardboard cut outs, the story goes absolutely nowhere and of course the serious themes are so mishandled to the point of being laughable. The only real thing Crossroads has going for it is it can be rather unintentionally comical. It really thinks it's telling a really dramatic story when in reality Crossroads is more like a parody of teen soap operas. Other than that, this movie leads to a dead end. Score: 1/10.