Disclaimer (the rant):
Britney Spears: she’s not a girl, not yet a woman. What is she then? In her new movie Crossroads (Paramount) she’s the town whore.
Keep in mind, we’re not members of the religious right, or a group of anti-Hollywood activists. We’re 20-year-old college males, and we like Britney. We really like Britney. We appreciate movies involving immature “dick and fart” jokes. We weren’t offended by the violence in movies like Natural Born Killers and American Psycho.
But Britney Spears’ new movie is just plain offensive.
Do not go see this movie. We couldn’t in good conscious recommend that anyone go; it’s the principle of the thing.
We sat in the movie theater alongside throngs of 13-year-old girls looking up to their idol, Britney Spears, as she ran off with an ex-con, drank with her friends in a rowdy hotel room and had sex with an older guy she’d met only weeks ago.
Crossroads is a socially irresponsible film. The film, as well as Britney herself, is marketed to the hordes of prepubescent girls who idolize the performer as the ultimate image of a beautiful young woman.
Instead of being a film with a few subtle references to Britney’s sex appeal, this film makes these references blatantly and without apology.
Let’s face it: Britney Spears is hot. So hot that you’ll be tempted to yell out when she appears on screen. But you’re hooting and hollering will be inappropriate when you’re sitting next to a 13-year-old who sees Britney as her hero. You shouldn’t see this movie. Not just because it’s bad, which it is, but because it’s just plain filth.
It is hard for two 20-year-old, male wanna-be film critics to be objective when reviewing Britney Spears’ new star vehicle Crossroads. We knew we were not going to find any use of Hitchcockian methods of suspense, any echoes of expressionist color symbolism or even the slightest touch of Eisenstenian montage in the film.
Instead, admittedly, we went into Crossroads thinking one thing: Britney Spears is an attractive girl, and with her film debut guys like us are guaranteed to see Britney dressed in scantily-clad outfits, dancing wildly on the big screen. For the first five minutes, this is exactly what audiences get.
The film centers around a young southern girl named Lucy (Spears), who rejoins her childhood friends Kit (Zoe Salanda) and Mimi (Taryn Manning) for a road trip to California with a handsome, mysterious man named Ben (Anson Mount).
But on the screen, the girls seem to learn other lessons. They learn that it is cool to leave your parents behind and hop in the car with a stranger who they actually think is an ex-con and a murderer. Lucy learns that since she has freed herself from the shackles of an overprotected father she can have sex with the guy she has only known for a few weeks and get drunk in sketchy hotel rooms.
Audiences also gather that the problems of the secondary characters are not as important as Lucy’s dreamy crush. The film talks about the fact that Kit is pregnant as the outcome of a date rape, and that her rapist actually turns out to be Mimi’s fiancee (sorry for the spoiler). But these serious issues fade into the background as Lucy embraces her true love and does a touching final performance of the song “Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.”
The film manages to make you laugh, but not at any of its jokes. Instead, audiences laugh at the implausibility of and innuendo behind the characters’ statements and decisions.
While the film opens with Britney jumping on her bed in just her underwear, the remainder of the film does not so overtly reference its true purpose – Britney as sex object.
If you’re a college-age male looking to see Spears dancing around with almost nothing on, it would be advised that you just flip on MTV instead of seeing Crossroads. After all, the film version of Spears, unlike the television version, does not come with a mute button