Review by Ross Anthony

Young Britney (played by her little sister, Jamie Lynn) and two other childhood friends put their dreams in a box and bury them. They vow to be friends forever and dig up the box after they finish high school. Fast forward to graduation night; the three have become nearly strangers, save for one common interest: getting in a car and driving west.

It's a surprisingly well-acted film with some very good dialogue that brings to the surface the teen experience. Even the story begins strongly, but gets lost somewhere on the road Crossroadsbetween Alabama and LA. Britney fans should have a great time just watching Britney: dance (in her underwear), laugh with her friends, cry, read "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" as a poem. But, curiously, for a film of this type, Britney only sings one of her own songs (though "Overprotected" does run during the credits with some out-takes).

Admittedly, I'm rather indifferent to Britney and her music, and still I didn't mind this film. It really could have been above average, hadn't it gotten a bit sloppy on the road. The first sign of trouble occurs when the car busts its radiator. The three girls use the opportunity to let off some steam of their own, but the sequence just doesn't work. From there, the forward motion is never quite regained, though several strong sequences do pull the viewer through.

One such "real" scene: Ben (played extremely well by Anson Mount) storms out of the car at the end of his patience, "I've been in a car full of chicks for days!" Though, the four fight over tunes on the radio ... most of the soundtrack turns out to be rock and roll (older stuff to boot). However, there is a rather fun 20 seconds when the three sing along to "Bye Bye Bye."

Crossroads There's also a wonderful scene on grad night in which Britney and her best male friend (lab partner) have apparently agreed to "do it" for the first time. He's ecstatic, she's completely apathetic. Nonetheless, they give it the o' college (err ... high school) try.

Britney, "This isn't how I'd hoped it would be."
Lab Partner, "That's weird, because this is exactly how I hoped it would be."

This purposely-awkward scene is extremely well scripted, acted (especially by the lab partner), directed, edited. Other such strong sequences populate the eventually meandering plot line.

While perhaps attempting to include too much of the teen-girl experience in one picture, the film sacrifices some well-earned momentum and dilutes its climax. All in all, an average film that teens will enjoy more than adults.

"I think Britney Spears has the same thing that Will Smith has, I think she's more than a singer and can be a really good actress" said producer Ann Carli to screenwriter Shonda Rhimes; and that's how "Crossroads" began.

Britney says she told the filmmakers, "I didn't want just a simple teen movie, I wanted to touch hearts, and say to other girls out there that they're not alone in what they're going through."

  • Crossroads. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, Dan Aykroyd.
  • Directed by Tamra Davis.
  • Screenplay by Shonda Rhimes.
  • Produced by Ann Carli at Paramount/MTV/ZOMBA.

Grade .............................................B
Grade (Teen)...................................B+

Copyright © 2002. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:17:09 PDT