Film Review: ‘Crossroads’ Through The Eyes Of A Fan
— Mario Aguilera
A fan shares their thoughts on Britney’s 2002 acting debut.
Anything nostalgic is welcome during quarantine and what’s better than an early ’00s teen movie? Particularly one starring the Princess of Pop, the legendary Britney Spears. Directed by Tamra Davis, Crossroads is hilarious, entertaining and completely underrated. Back in 2002, Britney was on top of the world. She had just released her third album, reinvented herself with a more mature image and embarked on the iconic Dream Within A Dream tour. Crossroads was released in the middle of all this.
While the movie was panned by critics, it has become a cult classic among her fans. Despite being labeled a flop by haters, Crossroads was a financial success (it grossed twice its budget) and gave Shonda Rhymes, who wrote the screenplay, an early break. It goes without saying that Britney only works with legends. What’s the movie about? Well, it tells the story of three former BFFs going on a road trip to pursue their individual goals. Along the way, they rekindle their friendship, learn some important life lessons and grow up.
Co-starring Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning, the road-trip comedy focuses on the strong bond between female friendships. Crossroads was originally called What Are Friends For, and you can see why. The three protagonists are there for each other through thick and thin. In fact, female empowerment is prevalent throughout the entire film. They hype each other up in good times (never forget the karaoke performance of “I Love Rock n Roll”) and bad. For example, when Mimi reveals that she was raped by Kit’s boyfriend and is fully supported.
As Britney once said in an interview, “Friends are all you have at the end of the day.” In Crossroads, the characters not only care for each, but also get a little justice along the way. (Kit’s ex-boyfriend lands a punch in the face). While serious issues are explored, there’s also a lot of fun. Like when the characters honor pop legends. The girls have a sing-along to Shania Twain in the car, while Britney has a bedroom jam session to Madonna’s “Open Your Heart.” As such, Crossroads is also something of a mini-musical.
Okay, it’s no Burlesque. But the film does give us three performances by Britney. The afore-mentioned Joan Jett cover, “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” and “Overprotected” are performed throughout the film. Perhaps for the 20th anniversary (it’s only two years away), Crossroads could be rereleased in theaters. Britney’s rendition of “I’m Not A Girl” needs to be experienced on the big screen! Dressed in a peasant blouse (probably from Kohls) with sleeves that scream 2002, the pop icon delivers a truly heartfelt performance.
“I Think Lucy and Britney are very different,” the wise singer/actress once said when describing the role. “But there are some things that are similar. Lucy is very naïve. She’s very dorky. I hope I’m not that dorky.” During lockdown, it has become apparent that Britney is, in fact, that dorky. Sharing her bubbly personality through dance routines, endless photo shoots and funny anecdotes (about burning down gyms), her Instagram is helping The Gays get through 2020. Long live the Princess of Pop and never give up hope for Crossroads 2: Cross Harder!