We’re all busy these days. What with smart phones and hundreds of television channels and the internet and whatnot, movies are just too damn long. At the very least they’re 90 minutes, and ain’t nobody got time for that. That’s like four episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Luckily there is a solution. You want to know about a film, but you don’t have the time to actually watch it. Enter: Wikipedia.
You see, when you look up a film on Wikipedia you can get a summary of what happens but without those annoying, distracting things like “context” or “acting”. This means that I finally have time to understand the one film that I’ve just never found time for, no matter how many people recommend it or how many awards it wins.
Crossroads, starring Britney Spears.
If you aren’t familiar with Crossroads, and really, shame on you if you aren’t, it’s the 2002 film that was released to elevate Britney from “world’s biggest popstar” to “world’s biggest star, period”. No, not biggest star period, that would be weird. I mean biggest… you know what, forget it.
Anyway, this perio… era was probably peak-Spears, after the teen idol stage and where she genuinely seemed like she was going to take over the world, like a less orange, less hate-filled Donald Trump. Needless to say it didn’t work.
How much of a failure was it? Well, this film stars Zoe Saldana, who went on to star in Guardians of the Galaxy, which made nearly a billion in the box office and holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also stars Taryn Manning, who went on to play Pennsatucky in Orange is the New Black, and had Justin Long, Kim Catrall and an obese version of Dan Ackroyd in supporting roles. In this Britney Spears vehicle-to-stardom, Britney Spears ended up the least successful of the entire cast.
Anyway, the plot courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Lucy, Kit, and Mimi are three friends who live in a small Georgia town. While as young children, they bury a “wish box” and vow to dig it up on the night of their high school graduation, also pledging to stay best friends forever. However, as they grow up, their friendship fades due to their different approaches of high school: Lucy becomes the valedictorian, Kit becomes the most popular girl in school, and Mimi faces teenage pregnancy.”
I love how “teenage pregnancy” is an approach to high school. Some choose to be jocks, some choose to be work hard, and some choose their approach to be impregnated by a teenager.
“On the night of their graduation, they keep their promise and get together to open the “wish box”. As they start talking again, they remember their old wishes while burying the box: Lucy wanted to see her mother again, Kit wanted to get married, and Mimi wanted to face teenage pregnancy”.
Not really, but that would be funny, right?
Instead she wanted to travel to California.
“Mimi brings up the topic of going to Los Angeles for a record contract audition”
“Kit and Lucy try to convince Mimi to not go all the way to Los Angeles due to the fact that she’s pregnant and anything dangerous can happen. However the next morning they decide to go together…”
“No, don’t go, you’re pregnant and it’s dangerous and something may happen. On second thoughts, let’s all go. Three times the danger!”
“… but each doing something separate; Mimi going to the audition, Kit visiting her fiancé and Lucy to see her mother in Tucson, Arizona. They set out on the road with little money in a yellow 1973 Buick Skylark convertible with a guy named Ben”
That’s all the intro we get to Ben, by the way. Does he go to school with them? Is he related to any of them? Who knows! It’s a guy called Ben and they’re getting in his car. Good thing they’re avoiding the dangers of travelling to California by getting in to a stranger’s car.
“Lucy, however, leaves without the permission of her father Pete, who wakes up the next day to find his daughter is gone”
Just a girl of school-age running away with a stranger without telling her parents, NBD.
I’m glad this isn’t being targeted at young girls or else this would be really troubling.
“Shortly into their journey, the car breaks down. They realise that they don’t have enough money between them for the travel nor the repair costs. Mimi then suggests that she sing karaoke at a local bar, where good singers are tipped well by the customers”
“While at the bar, the girls dress up and go the stage to perform. However, when the song starts Mimi develops stage fright, being unable to sing. Seeing that they needed the money, Lucy takes her place, and quickly becomes a hit with the crowd. They make enough money to fix the car and continue on their way”
How much money were these girls tipped that it would pay to repair a car?! Even if it was $100 that’s a lot of tips to be given in a bar for one performance.
“Shortly after the group checks into a motel…”
HOW MUCH MONEY WERE THEY TIPPED?!
“Kit tells the girls that she heard a rumor about Ben, commenting that he had recently been released from jail, after killing someone”
Wow, getting in the car with a strange man sure backfired on them, huh?
“The girls then spend most of the journey feeling uneasy around him, until they confront him. Ben reveals that he was in jail for driving his step-sister across state borders without parental consent, after his father was abusing her. Having established that Ben was not the assassin they imagined him to be, Lucy and Ben grow closer”
Sure, that’s his explanation. All I know is that his criminal record indicates he has spent time in prison for abducting a girl, and has now let three young girls he doesn’t know get in to his car so he can drive them across the country without the permission of their parents.
“The girls talk properly to each other for the first time since they were kids. Lucy reveals that her mother abandoned her and her father when she was three. Kit, who was overweight as a child, has an overbearing mother who sent her to “fat camp” but now cannot stand that her daughter is more beautiful than her. Mimi reveals that the baby’s father was not her boyfriend, but a guy who raped her after she got drunk at a party”
WHAT. THE. F*CK.
Seriously, I had no idea what this film was about when I started reading this, beyond possibly remembering having seen the music video that accompanied it fourteen years ago. My expectation was this was a cheesy, moronic, fluffy tale of three women on a car trip. I imagined they learned a lot about life and love, and came back better people at the end of it.
Nope, one of them got raped. In a film targeted at young girls.
I repeat: what the absolute f*ck?
“After they arrive in Arizona, Lucy finally meets her mother Caroline after eighteen years; however, Caroline reveals that she has remarried, and that she now has two sons ages seven and ten. She reveals to Lucy that she was an unintended pregnancy, and Lucy leaves the house heartbroken. Promptly arriving at the motel, Ben comforts her”
How dark is this film?! Are they going to accidentally run someone over and bury the body as well or something?
Also, apparently Britney’s character hasn’t seen her mother for eighteen years, but in the previous paragraph said she left when she was three. That makes Britney twenty-one when she’s graduating. No bloody wonder she was the valedictorian.
“The following day, Lucy rejoins the others and goes on to Los Angeles. When they arrive, Kit brings Mimi along to surprise her fiance, Dylan. While alone in the hotel, Lucy gives her virginity to Ben and they fall in love with each other”
Without having seen the film I don’t know the context behind this, but in text it very much reads like Britney Spears’ character is a virginal high-schooler who runs away from home with a man with a criminal record for abduction and has sex with him. Did I misunderstand and this is actually a horror film?
“When Kit and Mimi arrive to Dylan’s place, it is revealed that he is cheating on Kit after they see another girl in his apartment”
“Already upset, Kit suddenly realizes that it was Dylan who raped Mimi and got her pregnant, and she punches him.”
WHAT THE F*CK!!!!!!!!!!!!
I honestly can’t put in to writing how f*cked up I find this. Is this actually in the same scene? That she catches him cheating, and it turns out he raped her childhood friend?
“Scared, Mimi runs away, and falls down the stairs. Consequently, she loses her baby”
Rape and miscarriage, all in one film aimed at young girls. I have no words.
“Because of this, Lucy decides to call her father to take her and the girls back home”
“Hi, Dad? It’s Lucy. Listen, me and some friends, one of whom is a pregnant rape victim, ran away from home with a strange man who recently got out of prison for kidnapping his sister. I had sex with him, then the pregnant rape victim miscarried. We have at this point decided that things may have gone too far. Please travel 2,000 miles to collect us”.
“However her father is still wanting Lucy to be just like her mother”
The one who had a child by mistake and wants nothing to do with her? Because it sounds like she’s on the way, to be honest.
“After the entire journey she realizes that everything she’s done has been to please her father instead of herself. Lucy runs after Ben and they give each other a kiss. She and the girls decide to stay with Ben and go to the audition. They receive a standing ovation after their performance of Lucy’s poem; I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman. “This time we didn’t make any wishes for the future… We said goodbye to our past. Now, none of us have any idea where life’s gonna take us. ‘Cause what we have is now, and right now… we have Each Other.””
“Actually Dad, ignore that last call. I’ve been seduced by the kidnapper and want to stay here to perform a poem to record producers, even though I can only imagine they were looking for a musician, what with them being record producers and all. Should any of us be raped or miscarry I will call you back and change my mind again. Oh, please can you send money, the $5million we were given in tips at a strange bar will only go so far”.
So the film ends there. An engagement broken off, a character probably in therapy for the violent and sexual crime she has suffered with for the last five months, and Britney is running away with a convict. Yay for happy endings!
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