In what may be the most deserving entry ever in our “This really only needs one sentence” blog category, today marks the 10th anniversary – literally, down to the day, February 15, 2002 – of the release of Britney Spears’ landmark crime saga drama Crossroads.
The movie starred Britney Spears in her first and only leading film role and featured Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning as Britney’s two childhood friends – no, best friends – who roadtrip across the country and, according to IMDb, “find themselves and their friendship in the process.”
While we’re on the subject of IMDb, it should be noted that the film is listed as an adventure movie, has the tagline “Dreams change. Friends are forever,” and notably resulted in a “Best Dressed” nomination for Britney at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Groundbreaking stuff, here.
The soundtrack is also worth a glance, if only for its sheer ingenuity in going all across the board. Any soundtrack is worth a second listen if it includes “Bye Bye Bye” and “Shake Ya Ass (Clean Radio Edit),” as well as three (!?) Bowling for Soup songs. (As my colleague Ray Rahman puts it, “Bowling for Soup albums don’t even have three Bowling for Soup songs.”)
But I can’t be too hard on the film. After all, this was Britney’s first venture into film, and for what it’s worth, all the girls I know seem to have a nostalgic relationship with that movie (as well as Spice World, which celebrated its 14 year anniversary in January, but I digress). It definitely ranks high on the slumber party scale, and what’s more, it co-starred Zoe Saldana and was written by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, who both went on to wild success. And EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum hardly panned it, awarding the film a B+, writing “Britney has been delivered to the big screen safe and sound, the way we like our 20-year-old superstar girls to travel on the fame freeway.”
Ultimately, Crossroads is a cultural touchstone, a beloved — though some might say unfortunate — blip on Spears’s radar that led to other guilty pleasure favorites like Glitter and Burlesque, and I think the zeitgeist is all the better for it. (Hey, at least it was leagues better than Chaotic.) Now we just need to find another star vehicle for Britney for this decade. Trans4mers, perhaps?