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"Crossroads"

Where to start? Well, this is a Britney Spears film. It’s all about Britney Spears – Britney Spears cute and adorable. Britney Spears Science Nerd and valedictorian (and no, she doesn’t pull it off). Britney Spears closet kareoke queen, thrust unwillingly into the limelight (and a recording contract). Oh yes, and then there’s the sobbing Britney Spears abandoned by mother (oops, spoilt the plot).
To be fair, she’s got the doe-eyed “aren’t I adorable” down pat, but this is a film all about her. There is only one major scene which doesn’t have her in it, and probably a sum total of 15 minutes screen-time without her.

That said, fundamentally there are only two things wrong with this film – the acting and the script. There is only one character with any hint of depth (Mimi, superbly played by Taryn Manning), although Ben (Anson Mount) does a fair job of salvaging the poor role he’s landed (plus he gets to snog Britney, which he probably considered a plus – oops, spoilt the rest of the plot). As for the rest – characters that have no depth and you care about even less.

The premise is quite promising – three childhood friends, who’s different courses in life have pulled them apart get together (for various reasons) for a road-trip to LA. Lucy (our Brit) is the top-of-the-year nerd with no friends (except her lab partner – who she almost sleeps with, in a scene which young male Britney worshippers will drool over, and she parades in lingerie), who is driven by her father (played a bit woodenly by Dan Akroyd, which is a shame because he’s a comic genius) who also drove her mother away. Lucy decides to join this trip to get away from her driving father and see her long-lost mother. Mimi is the school trailer-park tramp, who’s pregnant from a back seat fumble, and is going to front a band if only she can get to the rehearsals in LA. Kit (Zoe Saldana) is the prom-queen type miss popular, who is also a bit of a cow, but wants to go to LA to see her fiance (who strangly isn’t coming home for the Easter break – h’mm, wonder why not? Oh shucks, that’s the rest of the plot gone too). Last of all is Ben, the poor smhuck who agrees to drive them all there (who also is a musician with a penchant for putting Britney’s poems to music).

Sadly, the promise is never born out. The characters are never truly believable, the former antagonists hugging “lets never lose each other again” is so cliched and predictable, and the whole universe revolves around Brit.. I mean Lucy.
The sole redeeming graces, as I already mentioned, are Mimi’s character, who is great and full of surprises, and Anson as Ben , who doesn’t take any of seriously, and is just along for the ride (plus the chance to snog BS).

One to watch on teressetial TV, if you must.

Seen at Ster Century, Leeds.

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