The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features


Britney Spears is not an actress. She is not a singer. She is not a dancer. She is not even a human being. Britney Spears is a product. Plain and simple. A very well-marketed, shiny product that one keeps expecting to end up in the discount pile and yet continues to drive an entire industry. Think the nation's economy is bad now? Imagine if there were no Britney. Don't believe me?

The record industry is currently flooded with Britney Spears and Britney Spears wanna-bes. Suddenly, every record label is pushing two or three teenaged girls who claim to be innocent and pure while gyrating their hips and licking their lips.

The fashion industry is releasing a flood of clothing that do one thing and one thing only - show the belly-button.

Internet advertising sales are remaining afloat simply due to the amount of traffic on Britney-related sites. The only way the porn sites can stay in business is to claim to have naked pictures of Britney (which always end up being the same blurry photo of one nipple accidentally showing through a dress at some posh event last year). We love Britney, all of us. Even you, who hate Britney actually love her. Because you love to hate her. What would you hate if she weren't around? Christina Aguilera? Give me a break.

Now she is invading the film industry. And the film has made some money, so you know there's going to be more.

The initial Britney Hollywood experiment is called Crossroads. Crossroads tells the story of a fictional girl who is just like Britney except that she isn't a famous singer, yet. Her character has a name, but who ever pays attention to that? We'll just call her Britney.

Britney has two friends. The popular black girl and the unpopular white trailer trash girl . I'm sure this is meant to create a microcosm of Britney's universe, and I'm sure Britney felt that it was a valid representation of America. Britney and her two friends decide, at age 10, to be friends forever. Eight years later they graduate from High School and don't like each other. So naturally, within 24 hours or so, they pile into a strange yet oddly husky and mysterious young man's car and drive across the country.

I had some friends when I was 10. And do you know who I drove across the country with when I turned 18? The friends I had when I was 18. Call me crazy.

Anyway, they all have reasons to go across the country. Trailer Trash wants to audition for a record contract. (Uh-huh. She's going to get the record contract in a movie starring Britney Spears. Right.) Black girl wants to go to UCLA and see her fiancÚ. Britney wants to tag along until Arizona and see her Mom who abandoned her when she was 3. So they get to Arizona, Britney moves in with her mom and we spend the rest of the movie going to California with the other two girls. Right.

The People In Charge With the Product of Britney Spears do a very amazing job at hitting all the right notes. Britney is a very innocent young girl, a virgin at the start of the movie, and she never appears slutty, skanky or ho-baggy. And yet we see her dance in her underwear, strip down to a sexy bikini, take a shower, gyrate with her bare midriff in front of horny boys, lay out in another bikini and more. In fact, the only scene that isn't in any way sexy is the scene when she actually opens the holy portal to her Golden Palace of the Himalayas for the hunk. They walk towards each other, kiss, begin some kind of yoga-like salutation to the sun, and camera pans out to the beach. Cut.

Oh, did I just ruin the movie by telling you that she gets it on with Mr. Right? Bummer.

This movie touches on all sorts of very important topics facing the young girls of today. Date Rape. Teen Pregnancy. Parental Abandonment. Infidelity. Weight Issues. Karaoke. Murder. But it's a surface touch, without actually exploring any of these issues. Except the Karaoke. But that's all right, because Britney's pretty much best handled on the surface. You watch the film and get the feeling that Britney thinks it's a very deep, important, discussion-raising film. And it is, except the discussion tends to center on Britney's breasts. But what makes the film endearing is that its shallowness isn't the shallow observations of an idiot. Rather, this is life as seen through the lens of a rather sheltered teenager who has been surrounded all her life by drama, theater, artists and lackeys. Instead of making a film about the world, she has inadvertently made a film about her tunnel-vision view of the world. And it's a nice world, and one that I sure wish I could join. Wouldn't it be nice?

Acting, directing, writing, who cares. They are unimportant next to the Product. The Product comes across fine. They girls get a number of rather ridiculous excuses to have Britney break into song. (Anyone else ever been to a karaoke night that included dressing rooms?) Everything happens exactly as you would expect, everyone is happy in the end (except for the icky bad people, rare though they may be in Britney's world), even the sun is wearing a smile.

The film begins with the girls digging up a time capsule box in the woods filled with memories and ends with them burying another time capsule box on the beach, saying they may never even reopen it. Which is a good thing, because the tide is coming in in a few hours to sweep Britney's box out to sea.

There, I found a way to say 'Britney's box' in the review. Happy?

Crossroads ends up with 2 1/4 Babylons. Simple, pretty and benevolent. Much like Britney herself.

Editor's Note:

There have been 8 Brunching features to date that have mentioned Britney- two by the SMC, three by David Neilsen, two by Lore, and one by some guy named Steve Berlin. Obviously, there's an obsession going on here (although "sex" has been mentioned in 99 features and "sheep" in 10, so I'm not sure what that means), so why wouldn't the movie get the SMC's random automatic points for Britney? This demands some analysis.

Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Tamra Davis
Starring: Britney Spears. Her belly-button. Her thighs. Her delicate hands. Her luscious lips. And some other parts of her well-marketed, spell-bindingly curvaceous body.

Join the Self-Made Critic Mailing List Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage