Crossroads (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I couldn't watch this thing. I tried for ten minutes, then fast-forwarded to the naughtier moments.

Here is James Berardinelli's summary of the set-up:

NUDITY REPORT

none. Britney gets down as far as bikini underwear.

"Three newly-graduated high school seniors are making a cross-country trek in a convertible. Their destination: Los Angeles. Lucy (Britney Spears) is headed west to locate her long-lost mother - a woman who abandoned her and her sadsack loser of a father (Dan Aykroyd) when she was three years old. Kit (Zoe Saldana), the local Ms. Popular, is curious why her boyfriend, who currently resides in California, keeps postponing their wedding date. And Mimi (Taryn Manning), who is pregnant, wants to enter a songwriting contest and find a good adopted home for her unborn baby. Their driver is Ben (Anson Mount), a twenty-something hunk with a mysterious past who develops a thing for Lucy."

Here is Roger Ebert's summary of the denouement:

Lucy's mom informs her she was a "mistake," Kit's fiance turns out to have another woman and to be guilty of date-rape, and Mimi, who was the rape victim, has a miscarriage.

I guess you were expecting it to be a bit more upbeat than that, eh? Fact of the matter is it's a soap opera.

It received 12% "positive" reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.  The following "positive" review will help you understand where that 12% was coming from. -- Luke Y. Thompson of  NEW TIMES LOS ANGELES said:

"Highbrow self-appointed guardians of culture need not apply, but those who loved Cool as Ice have at last found a worthy follow-up."

So there you go. If you thought Vanilla Ice's Cool as Ice was hot stuff, this is the follow-up you have been dreaming of.

DVD info from Amazon

Commentary by Ann Carli, Tamra Davis and Shonda Rhimes
Making of "Crossroads" - 40 Days with Britney
7 Deleted Scenes with On-Camera Introductions by Tamra Davis
"Overprotected" Exclusive Darkchild Remix Music Video
"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" Music Video
Photo Gallery
Britney's DVD Welcome
First in Line - Inside the "Crossroads" Premiere
Break Through Britney - Fun facts and inside comments accessed during the movie
Sing Along with Britney - Karaoke Videos for "Overprotected" and "I'm Not a Girl"
Edit Your Own Music Video
Taryn's T-Shirts - How to make the t-shirts from the "I Love Rock n' Roll" karaoke scene
Widescreen anamorphic format

The deleted scenes and special features offer no additional entertainment. The comments by director Tamra Davis make Britney herself seem to be as profound and erudite as Umberto Eco.

One warning - don't play that drinking game where you have to take a shot every time Davis says "like" or "kinda". You could not last five minutes.

Despite her lightweight, bimbonic appearance and speech patterns, Davis has directed some entertaining movies, especially the very competent Skipped Parts, which she also produced. Watch that instead.

As for the legendary, much-rumored 'flashing" scene: it does exist. It's in the deleted scenes, shot from the neck up.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three stars. Ebert 1.5/4, Berardinelli 1/4,  BBC 3/5. What movie did BBC watch? Must have been another movie with the same title. Even Ebert was pretty generous with that extra half a star.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 2.7/10, Guardian voters 4.0/10. Surprisingly, girls under 18 don't like it much better than other IMDb voters (3.4/10)
  • with their dollars: she'll be back. Gross $37 million in the USA alone. Budget: only $12 million

 

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a Z. It may even go beyond Z and form a new alphabet. I may have to learn Hungarian or one of those alphabets with 30+ letters. In all of human entertainment history, this may be the worst single creation not starring Jeff Fahey.

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