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Crossroads

Director:Tamra Davis
Writer:Shonda Rhimes
Paramount Pictures; PG-13; 97 minutes
Release:2/02
Cast:Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana

Despite lascivious photo shoots and teasingly touted virginity, teen icon Britney Spears is surprisingly clean-cut, hard-working, and spice-free. All of these traits manifest in her debut film, Crossroads. With passable screen presence Spears stars as Lucy, a high school graduate on a cross-country jaunt with two female friends in a car driven by a suspicious older man named Ben (Anson Mount). Each of the girls has life obstacles to steer around. Taryn Manning's Mimi is pregnant, Zoe Saldana's Kit is hunting down a wayward fiancée, and Lucy wants to reconnect with her estranged mother (Sex and the City's siren Kim Cattrall). Not all stories end well, but the movie fluffs up its rougher edges.

The unspirited professionalism conjured by Britney comes to dominate the film. Crossroads attempts to teach its young viewers lessons about risk and responsibility. Odd, then, that the moral equation is so unbalanced: drunken sex is punished while 18-year-old Lucy's consummated romance with a 29-year-old man is rewarded—even though it might not be legal in every state—with a record contract.


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