If you are a twentysomething mediocre music fan from Toronto, I’m going to bet my bedazzled crop top, you’ll be heading to (or wishing you were heading to) the Air Canada Centre this weekend. The artiste formerly known as Mrs. Federline (and occasionally, Miss Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and or Mrs. Oh My God That Britney’s Shameless), Britney Spears, is town, and she’s ready to hit us former 90s kids with the best of her lipsynced hits – one more time!
Britney has gone through many incarnations throughout the years, both good and bad. In between the rough, hairless, Cheetoes-filled patches, there have always been awesome, friend of boa constrictor phases and sparkly onesie moments. Although she’s looking and doing pretty well at the moment (Femme Fatale is kind of amazing!), I still like to think of Britney as she was in January 2002, when she was 21 and I was thirteen and the winner of the Toronto Sun’s “Biggest Britney Spears Fan” contest (more on that later…). In that moment, the woman who would go on to haunt Brittany S. Pierce‘s dentist chair dreams seemed so, well, “Lucky.” She was a fit, tanned, and slightly slutty hand dance machine, Justin Timberlake’s girlfriend and the star of the yet-to-be-released surefire hit film, Crossroads….
- It’s a coming-of-age semi-musical that follows three childhood friends – a goody goody with abandonment issues (Britney, as Lucy) a popular bitch with a fat girl past (Zoe Saldana as Kit) and a pregnant rebel with a bandana addiction (Taryn Manning as Mimi) – as they embark on spontaneous road trip to L.A in an attempt to find their long-lost mother, surprise their older boyfriend and score a recording contract, respectively.
- We’re supposed to believe the man who played Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) would not be okay with his on-screen daughter leaving town in an attempt to kickstart her music career.
- We’re also supposed to believe Lucy is, to quote Kit’s initial description of her, “nerdy, proper and virginal.” (The below screenshots were taken 10 minutes into the movie, as Lucy does a striptease for her lab partner to “Let’s Get It On.”)
- Lucy, Mimi and Kit embark on said cross-country journey of self-discovery with a possibly murderous (but kinda cute!) older stranger (and rockin’ guitarist!) named Ben (Anson Mount).
- Mimi, after Kit and Lucy freak out after having learned Ben has been in jail previously (for what they think is the previously mentioned possible murder): “So what? He did his time! He paid his debt to society!”
- Is this graduation in 2002 or 1982?
- Is that a Boomkat (Manning’s band) song I hear in the background of the girls’ brief detour into “teen drinking?”(The ratings board’s description, not mine!) And I thought Britney was the only one using this movie as a shameless plug for her brand (and the brands that have slowly become attached to it)…
- Lucy’s first act of road trip rebellion? Hanging up on her dad….mid-sentence
- There is no official soundtrack. Unless you count the Britney album, which contains most of the tracks sung by Spears in the film including “Overprotected” and of course, “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.” And I don’t. (I need me a blooper publicity still-filled album booklet!)
- In this film, “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” isn’t a song. It’s a poem written by Lucy, that gets turned into a song….after Ben hears her do a spoken word, campfire-side reading and decides to write some music to accompany her brilliant words.
WHY IT’S AWESOME!:
- I repeat: It’s a coming-of-age semi-musical that follows three childhood friends as they embark on spontaneous road trip to L.A in an attempt to find their long-lost mother, surprise their older boyfriend and score a recording contract, respectively. As the trip goes on, and they get closer and closer to achieving their goals, they also get closer to each other, regaining the BFF-ship they lost when they hit Jr. High!
- The opening scene has Britney dancing around in her undies and a straw cowboy hat and singing (not lipsyncing!) to Madonna’s “Open Your Heart.” It’s a treat for straight guys – and girls who really should have been streotypical, diva-worshipping gay men – of all ages.
- The script was written by Shonda Rhimes, writer of The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
- This exchange between the Kit, Lucy and a very, very far-along Mimi.
Kit: You’re going to California to audition for a record contract?
Lucy: You’re pregnant!
Mimi: So? I’ll wear something slimmin’!
- The band that plays at prom (and Ben is reportedly a part of) is definitely Bowling for Soup.
- Young Britney is played by none other than the original teen mom, Brit’s real-life sis, Jamie Lynn Spears.
- Don’t disown me, but I think Brit is actually pretty legit in this. I’m not joking. She’s no Meryl Streep or anything, but she’s no Mariah Carey either. She’s actually quite charming, not to mention a really decent fake crier. And she actually sings in certain moments!
- We’re supposed to believe Lucy is “nerdy, proper and virginal,” because…she wears bucket hats and jean jackets? Perhaps my 21-year-old memory is foggy, but weren’t those the cool kid shit back then?One thing I can agree on is the costumes chosen to project Kit’s privileged prom princess status. Hoop earrings and purple-tinted aviators with crystal-encrusted hearts? Pure early 2000s class.
- A pasty as all hell Justin Long attempts to get Lucy into bed with him, and not look he’s covered in baby powder, simultaneously. He fails miserably at both. (See below).
- Justin’s main reason why he and Brit should hook up? They’ve been lab partners for four years, so they really “trust each other.”
- Lucy’s second act of road trip rebellion? Crimping her hair, donning a crop top, channeling her PG-13 showgirl and singing lead on a karaoke rendition of “I Love Rock N’ Roll”….in last minute attempt to get enough money to fix their broken radiator and save a rhinestone lion-shirted Mimi from a sudden bout of stage fright.
- Their main heckler during their first, Mimi-headed attempt at the song? Mr. Rosso – the guidance counselor from Freaks and Geeks! How soon we get over helping troubled teens…
- There are MULTIPLE in-car sing-a-longs, including one involving Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” an awesomely jokey one to ‘Nsync’s “Bye Bye Bye” (an obvious nod to Brit’s then-lovah, JT) and an especially heated one to a track which may as well be the theme song for the film (and every Terribly Awesome! film so far): “If It Makes You Happy.”(If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad! Right, Sheryl?!)
- This is reportedly one of the highest grossing movies ever….in Japan.
- This is also the reason I have more fun than some of my friends. Part of my “Biggest Britney Spears Fan” grand prize package (it also included a Crossroads poster, a Herbal Essenses basket, tickets to an advanced screening of the movie and a limo ride there for myself and eight of my friends) was a $400 gift card to a local salon. Since you can’t just get a haircut for $400, I convinced my mom to let me get highlights. I’ve been a blonde ever since.
- Lucy’s third act of road trip rebellion: having an afternoon delight with Ben and his wing-tattooed shoulders….with the beach-level windows of their motel room fully open!
- Lucy’s fourth and final act of rebellion: wearing this get-up to her recording contract audition. Her dad’s reaction says it all.
- Remember how I said Ben takes “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” from a amateur Lucy-penned poem to the top notch power pop ballad we know today?
- Uh, it’s Britney, bitch!