Crossroads review

There are a few things you need to know before you see Britney Spears' movie debut. First, she bounces around in skimpy underwear on at least two occasions. Second, she does not get her puppies out. Third, this is a PG-rated, teen movie aimed at pubescent girls whose idea of deviance is getting a belly ring just like the pneumatic pop princess. You're not going to get Citizen Kane or Britney Does Dallas here - but should you have an open mind and easily stoked hormones, chances are you'll be pleasantly aroused/entertained by Britney's inaugural cinematic effort.

Miss Spears plays Lucy, a sweet high school virgin from Georgia who lives with her earnest single parent pop (Dan Aykroyd). On prom night she meets up with two former childhood friends - Kit (Zoe Saldana), a bitchy cheerleader, and Mimi (Taryn Manning), a knocked-up burn-out - and the girls implausibly decide to run away together by taking a road trip to the West Coast. Chauffeured by Ben (Anson Mount), a mysterious and dreamy ex-con, all three girls have an agenda: Mimi to attend an audition in LA; Kit to surprise her California-based fiancé; and Lucy... well, Lucy just wants to find her Mom. (As for Ben, he probably just wants to get laid.)

Written especially for Spears (and based on her own `original' concept), Crossroads is every adolescent angst movie and chick flick rolled into one. It's not long before tedious declarations of friendship are jostling with teary-eyed confessions of date-rape, and the snowballing, all-too-inevitable realisations of self-worth culminate in a cringeworthy scene where Ben puts one of Lucy's poems to music. We're also later faced with the obligatory song `n' dance sequence.

Yet, despite these faults, Crossroads is a guilty pleasure. This is largely due to Britney's irresistible charm, but it's also because the movie's undeniably sweet and, believe it or not, genuinely affecting. In very small parts. Whether you're watching it for reasons of fanaticism, curiosity or just plain old-fashioned fantasy gratification, Crossroads should have just enough to keep you amused.

Yeah, so it's cheesy, unoriginal and self-indulgent - but what do you expect from a teen pop minx? Go on, you'll enjoy it if you let yourself...

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