Crossroads


Directed by: Tamra Davis
Written by:Shonda Rhimes
Starring: Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Kim Cattrall, Dan Aykroyd, Justin Long
Released: April 18, 2002
Grade: C-

I am yet to see this film but feel somewhat compelled to write my review anyway.  As a critic, I’ve seen a lot of crap.  Period.  I’ve seen many films that I knew would be dreadful but I have no qualms about the wasted money and time.  However, there have been rare instances in which I have been embarrassed to see a film.  I walk down the aisles looking for the darkest seat in the darkest corner to hide my presence and not to attract any attention to myself.

The best example I can recall was a nerve racking experience on January 9, 1998.  The film was Spice World.  I sat in the second front row in an audience of teenage girls who were left spellbound by this cinematic masterpiece.  For me, I couldn’t crawl deep enough into my chair.

Now, four years later, I find myself once again at a similar “crossroad” in my life.  The terms Britney Spears and actress do not belong in the same sentence.  Having seen the trailers, I can already conclude that Crossroads will comfortably be one of the great debacles in movie history.  The film was created solely a vehicle for Spears.  Realising her marketing potential, Paramount Pictures crafted this crap just to get her on screen for 90 minutes and bring in the bucks.  In an era when independent filmmakers are struggling to get quality films released, one studio is willing to spend $12m on a film revolving around a 20-year-old girl who has never acted before in her life.

To help people appreciate the stupidity of the “story”, here’s the plot summary from the film’s actual website - “Crossroads in the story of three childhood friends, Lucy, Kit and Mimi, who after eight years apart, rediscover their friendship on a cross-country trip.  With barely a plan, practically no money but plenty of dreams, the girls catch a lift with Mimi’s handsome, mysterious friend Ben in his ’73 Buick convertible.  Along the way they not only gather experiences that will change their lives forever, but they also discover how important it is to hold onto their hearts’ desires.”  Does that make you feel as sick as I do?

Am I alone in doubting this film?  I think not.  The public can give any film a score out of 10 at the Internet Movie Database and with over 2,000 votes received, the average score for Crossroads is 2.5 (and that includes 14% of the die-hard votes giving the film a score of 10).  Maybe they also feel reluctant at having a teen pop star who has lived on easy street her whole life preach us lessons about how tough life can be.

The problem now is that I have to find the courage to see this film.  I was thinking about a Monday morning 10am session but even at that time of the day, am I safe from been seen?  Being a film critic isn’t all it cracked up to be.

Footnote:  I have now seen the film.  I was given free tickets and offered them to a bum on the street who promptly spat in my face.  I deserved it.  All I want to add is that Britney looks like plastic, the audience laughed during all the emotional scenes and yes, this is the worst film of the year.