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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Crossroads

Starring: Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana
Director: Tamra Davis
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: February 2002
Genres: Comedy, Music

*Also starring: Anson Mount, Kim Cattrall, Taryn Manning

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Pity the poor valedictorian. She didn't get to go to any of the parties or the football games. And she's still a virgin. This makes her one unhappy girl.

You'll be unhappy too if you go to see CROSSROADS, unless you're a dedicated Britney Spears fan. She is a really cute girl with the world's whitest teeth. But, even if she's really cute, her movie is really bad.

Although most of the picture is a wasteland set during a road trip across the country, it starts with sexual titillation and ends with daytime soap opera material. When we first meet Lucy (Spears), she is dancing on her bed in her underwear. The next scene has a voyeuristic camera peering down her blouse. And soon after that she's playing flasher in her bra and panties in a hotel room with her nerdy lab partner. You may now be thinking guilty pleasure. If so, you'd be wrong, as these sexually charged episodes feel more cheesy and distasteful than erotic. After them, the movie falls quickly into neutral, a gear that it doesn't get out of until almost the end.

Going on the trip with Lucy are her ex-girlfriends, Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning). Supplying the car, the driving and the good male looks is a stranger named Ben (Anson Mount), who is rumored to have been in prison for murdering a guy. Want to place on a bet on the rumor's accuracy? Mount (URBAN LEGEND: FINAL CUT), who could easily pass for James Caviezel's younger brother, is a hunk who is a nice visual complement to Spears.

Spears is in good company. From Mariah Carey in GLITTER to Lance Bass in ON THE LINE, today's young singers have proved that they should stick to their day jobs. Although Mandy Moore in A WALK TO REMEMBER made the transition successfully, few do.

CROSSROADS runs 1:34. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual content and brief teen drinking" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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