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   "None of us has any idea where lifeís gonna take us. ĎCuz what we have is now. And right now, we have each other."

--  Lucy    




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For my next number, I'd like to do an old Karen Carpenter tune called "Cherry Bomb." 


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The fine proprietors of 3B Theater have thrown out a challenge to our guest reviewer extraordinaire, Naked Bill Rinehart, to pull off a trio of brain-numbing films featuring pop divas: Glitter, Crossroads and Spice World. And already conquering the turd mountain that was Glitter, Our Boy proves his intestinal fortitude is mighty by next tackling pop-princess / trailer trash Britney Spears' epic tale, Crossroads. C'mon, now, it's not like I asked him to review a Hillary Duff movie. Anyways, Naked Bill has returned the challenge and wants me to review some movie called Xanadu ... Anybody know what that's about?

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Disclaimer: This film has been rated PG-13 for sexual content, and brief teen drinking. Any male over the age of 35 viewing this movie will be contacted by your local law enforcement agency.

Three giggly girls are digging in the woods, one dark night. "Deeper! Deeper!" they cry. (And Iím already uncomfortable with what Iíve inferred. Iím a bad, bad man.) Kit, Lucy, and Mimi are 10-years-old and are burying a "dream box." (Thatís a box you put your dreams in, by the way.) The girls pledge to open the box at midnight of their graduation day, and promise to be "best friends forever".

We flash forward 8 years to find Lucy (Britney Spears) dancing in her underwear. (Every guy dragged along to this movie is now telling himself, "Hey! This ainít so bad!") Lucy jumps up and down on her bed, until Pop (Dan "Iíll do anything" Aykroyd) bursts in. She has to get ready for graduation. She has to rehearse her speech. Canít have the valedictorian messing up her speech, he warns. (The only thing I remember about my graduation ceremony is the hangover.)

Meanwhile, back at school, we meet the 18-year-old Mimi (Taryn Manning) who, according to the guys she passes in the hall, is a slut. Sheís also pregnant. (She also looks more than a little like a young Margot Kidder.) We also find the grown Kit (Zoe Saldana), with her underlings in tow. Kitís become quite the snob, and doesnít talk to Mimi or Lucy anymore. Lucy, in addition to being valedictorian, has a dork for a boyfriend. And the rumor is sheís still a virgin! (Yeah. Thanks for reinforcing that image, Britney.)

After graduation, Pop finds Lucy crying. Sheís upset because being valedictorian didnít mean anything. (It didnít? Tell that to the American Valedictorian Anti-Defamation League!) But Pop is more than a little pushy, and can only think about the future of his only child. (How selfish of him! I mean, heís like, totally smothering her.) And Lucy is "all he has", since her mom ran out, when she was 3.

Itís tough being a teenager these days, with sexual situations and brief teen drinking forced on an innocent audience, but parents are taking control. Theyíre working to prevent teen pregnancy with organized activities, like the post-graduation formal dance. (As my philosophy professor pointed out, American students have the best proms in the world. And this one is no exception.) Thereís a live band, featuring Ben, (Anson Mount) on rhythm guitar. (Not since Anson Williams has an Anson done so much entertaining for so many.) Ben supposedly just got out of jail. (Cue ominous music.)

When Mmi reminds her former friends of their pledge to dig up the dream box, Kit isnít interested and Lucy has promised to Ďopen up her flowerí to her lab partner for the last 3 years, Henry (Justin Long). Then Kit gets ticked off because her girlfriends donít believe sheís really going to marry her boyfriend Dylan (Richard Voll), who is off studying at UCLA. She leaves the dance, and with nothing better to do, finds the forest where Mimi is hunting for the buried treasure. Lucy shows up too, and they giggle as they share memories and hopes and dreams. (We never find out just how the scene between Lucy and Henry ends. Though it probably ended for Henry as soon as she displayed her bra, if you catch my drift.)

Kit put a Bridal Barbie in the box (-- had it only been in the original packaging, itíd be worth a fortune!), because she wanted to get married. Lucy put in a locket with her momís picture, because her wish was to find her mom, who is now living in Arizona. Mimiís contribution was a small globe on a keychain because she wanted to put her feet in the Pacific Ocean. Well guess what? Kitís dream is coming true, and because Mimi is going to California to audition for a recording contract, her wish could be granted too. 

But Lucy is still motherless. She tries to get information from Pop about her missing Mom, but all he says is that itís best to leave it alone. Her mom doesnít deserve to be contacted.

As Mimi packs up her things in Benís car, Lucy shows up and begs a ride to Arizona. And Kit shows up too. She wants to surprise her fiancťe, (always a good idea), since heís not planning on coming home anytime soon. Ben puts on his Enrique Inglesias cap, and they hit the road, where he lays down the law by maintaining strict control over the radio, and with maxims like "Nobody drives the Cruiser but me". (Can I get that printed on a puffy hat?)

At a Waffle House in Alabama, the travelers find they are woefully unprepared for a journey of such magnitude. They have only $486 between them. (High school girls without credit cards? I call No Way!) Itís enough money for food, gas and cheap lodging, but Lucy warns it may not be enough for anything else along the way. And while sharing a bathroom the next morning, the girls find time to gossip about their driver. Seems Ben (allegedly) killed someone.

'Lo and behold, the next day, right outside New Orleans, the Cruiser breaks down. While itíll cost more than they have, Mimi has a plan. (Weíll fix up the old barn and turn it into a theater? Close.) She leads them to a Bourbon Street bar holding a karaoke contest. Mimi suffers stage fright, (thatís a good thing to have when youíre driving across the continent to audition for a record company), but Britney, er--, Lucy also has a great singing voice. Sheís able to win the hearts, and money of the tavern audience with her version of Pat Benatarís "I Love Rock and Roll." (Yes, I know the song is Joan Jettís, but Britney apparently doesnít.)

The girls are dancing and Ben tallies up the take. (Doesnít he know? You never count your money while youíre sitting at the table. Thereíll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.) One drunken college stud gets a little too frisky with Lucy, but Ben comes to her rescue, and hi-keebahs the guy in the nose. Saying heís not mad at Lucy (and why would he be?) Ben gets all moody and disappears after checking the girls into a decent hotel. (Itís got a minibar!!) With Mr. Testosterone gone, the girls can get into serious Oprah territory. They split one of those tiny little bottles of vodka, and get drunk. (Well, Mimi doesnít. Sheís pregnant after all.) They talk about sex, life, hopes and dreams. But the real Lifetime Movie of the Week stuff doesnít get discussed until the next morning.

Lucy talks about how her parents were always fighting and her mom leaving, and how she knows her mom wants to see her. Really. No. Honestly. She does. Then Mimi reveals she was raped after the one time she got drunk at a party. (Are you listening teenage girls in the audience? The filmmakers are talking to you.) And even worse, the rapist is the father of her baby.

After a good cry, and a group hug, the girls find Ben at the garage where the car is getting fixed. (Ben wonít say where he spent the night, but my guess is he was either spending some of the karaoke money, or making a little spending cash of his own, if ya know what I mean.) Before piling back in the car, Ben changes his shirt and gives Lucy an eyeful of the "jailhouse art" across his back. (Letís face it. If Ben had really spent time in jail, he would have been traded back and forth like a carton of cigarettes.)

On that topic, Lucy finally gets the nerve up to ask Ben about his criminal record. And yes, he does have one. Ben did 6 months in lock-up for transporting a minor across state lines. (Ironic, considering his current company, ainít it?) But, it was for a good cause. He was rescuing his step-sister from his violent step-father. So, after making goo-goo eyes at him the entire journey, Lucy learns that heís not a bad man, and she can love this sullen stranger. She even trusts him enough to share her poetry with him in the desert, and theyíre about to kiss, but get interrupted by Mimi. (Curse your timing, harlot!)

The gang arrives in Tuscon, (with Chicago-style pizza), and they find the mansion where Lucyís mom lives. They drop her off and wish her well with the reunion. But turns out Mom (Kim Cattrall) doesnít want to see her daughter. Sheís started a new life, with 2 new sons. (The boys must have been through the immaculate conception, because while there are plenty of pictures of the boys on the mantle, there are no photos of her new man.) Well, Mom doesnít want Lucy in that life, and says Lucy was a "mistake". (Ouch! Harsh!) To cheer her up, Ben puts Lucyís poem, ("Iím Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" available now, from Jive Records) to music, and they finally kiss, in the Armada Room of the Tuscon Days Inn. (Que romantic music!)

Itís back on the road, and upon their arrival in Los Angeles, weíre treated to the standard "weíre in Los Angeles" shots. (Hollywood Sign, Capitol Records building, Movie Star homes tour signs, etc.) After a quick trip to the beach where Mimi can wet her feet, and itís time to split up. Mimi and Kit go sightseeing, and Ben and Lucy stay in because theyíre "tired." Well, the door is hardly closed when Ben and Lucy launch themselves into getting it on.

Kit decides to drop in on her fiancťe, Dylan, and drags a very reluctant Mimi along for the ride. As youíve probably guessed, Dylan is a slimeball, and has another chickie at home when Kit arrives. And he already knows Mimi. From a certain party last Christmas. Kit easily puts it all together, and slugs Dylan as Mimi falls down the stairs. Sheís rushed to the hospital where a doctor informs everyone her baby has been lost. (Wow! Itís the same hospital in NBCís Scrubs!) Lucy calls home, and asks Pop to come get her, and heís there in record time. (He was on a mission from Gawd.)

But Lucy changes her mind. She loves that big lummox Ben, and canít leave him. Sheís also decided to audition for Mimiís record label. (As long as the reason for driving out this way wasnít wasted.) And so, our three girls all stay in California, and take time to bury another box in the earth. (This one better contain a bottle of Dom Perigon.) It contains not wishes this time, but their past lives.

The End

Crossroads is by no means a great movie. But I still kinda liked it. Of course, itís easy to like anything after the horror of Mariah Careyís Glitter. Both flicks revolved around a singer, her new love, and her two best friends. Both protagonists were looking for their mothers. But Crossroads succeeds where Glitter fails, because it lets the supporting characters have lives, and depth of their own.

Also, Crossroads doesnít seem to take itself too seriously. Itís a movie for teenagers. Glitter was for ... Mariah Carey.

Crossroads (2002) Fuzzy Bunny Films :: MTV Films :: Zomba Films :: Paramount Pictures / EP: Clive Calder, Larry Rudolph, Britney Spears, Van Toffler, Johnny Wright / P: Ann Carli, Rob Lee, Jonathan McHugh / D: Tamra Davis / W: Shonda Rhimes / C: Eric Alan Edwards / E: Melissa Kent / M: Trevor Jones / S: Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, Justin Long, Kim Cattrall, Dan Aykroyd

Posted: 02/19/04 :: Rehashed: 01/10/14

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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