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Published on June 15th, 2008 | by simeon

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Crossroads

In today’s entertainment world, more artists than ever are pre-packaged over produced and thrust on the public in a wave after wave of over saturation where style is prominent over substance and artistic merit. The over proliferation of boy bands and flavor of the month bands has reached an all time high. The reason for this is simple, money, if something hits it big, then it stands to reason that something packaged in the same vein is likely to tap into the cash flow as well.
Case in point the recent cinematic flop “On The Line” starring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of Nsync. The powers that be figured if you put two members of one of the hottest boy bands in a film, then fans are likely to rush to cinemas to view it. The recent dud that was “Glitter” was a further illustration that a top selling singer, is not guaranteed to draw fans to the box office, and the damage done to Mariah Carrey’s career by the film is still occurring. Even a star such as Madonna has had more than her share of box office failures ranging from “Shanghai Surprise” to “Body of evidence” illustrating the challenge of even established stars taking the plunge into acting.
Not one to be left out, MTV and Paramount have decided to take the queen of bubblegum pop, Britney Spears and place her in a starring vehicle called:”Crossroads”. Spears stars as Lucy, a valedictorian who has started to question her life free of fun and adventure while studying to impress her father Joe (Dan Akroyd). Joe works as a mechanic and plans to send Lucy to medical school as he sees a bright future for his daughter. Before long, Lucy and her friends Kit (Zoe Saldana), and Mimi (Taryn Danning), in an effort to get to a record company audition and a visit to Lucy’s long lost mother (Kim Cattrall). If you are having a hard time seeing the connection, join the club. Lucy just decides to leave everything behind on a whim to travel with her two friends, whom have grown apart from her in recent years. The pregnant Mimi plans to get a record deal and make something of her life, and Kit wants to visit her fiancé who attends school in Los Angeles. As if this scenario is not bizarre enough, the girls are being driven by a loner named Ben (Anson Mount), who is rumored to be an ex con. If you think this plot summary is a mess, than congratulations, you have figured out the movie and saved yourself time and money. The film plays out as one long music video and is sure to delight all of Spear’s fans who are under the age of 16, and do not know enough to see garbage when they see it. Spears is an attractive lady and a talented performer, but she is given little to do than play herself, and her acting ability seems limited to turn, smile, sing, look wistful, and playful. I have seen greater range from an air rifle, and to be honest, her acting in the Pepsi commercials is better than this mess. One has to wonder just what entices talent like Cattrall and Akroyd to appear in a piece of fluff like this. They surely can’t need the money this badly to be reduced to charactures in brief and uninspired supporting roles. The dialogue in the film is terrible at times, and the audience at the test screeners laughed at several scenes and lines where no comedy was intended. Worse yet, several people at the completion of the film have said that they have not seen a worse movie in years. Criticism is often easier than construction, so I will endeavor to explain why the film failed. First, the story and characters are very bland and uninspired. The story is a mix of several stock plotlines, and one can see the outcome of scenes and characters far in advance. The characters are bland and are not capable of gaining support or sympathy from the audience. There are gigantic lapse in reasons and logic such as the girls being able to raise large sums of money from an impromptu karaoke concert of I love Rock and Roll. I could go on and on about the lack of chemistry, the bland characters, and other issues, but suffice it to say, there is very little to redeem this film. My advice is for Britney to stick to what she does best, singing and leave the acting to professionals until she has more time to devote to the craft and not see filming as something to squeeze in between touring and commercial shoots as she did for this film.

1 star out of 5


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