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How to Be A Slut: Britney Spears in Crossroads

Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer


Continuing our look back through the archives of the Crapfest section, here's Rob Van Winkle's examination of Britney Spears' movie Crossroads.

ImageI once had an idea for a screenplay that would consist of nothing but clichés. Every character would be stock, every event would be seen a mile away, and every line of dialogue would be painfully predictable and unrealistic. My thought was that, if done perfectly, the result would be a movie where the audience would be able to see it for the first time, and yet still shout out dialogue with the characters, and smart-ass comments between their lines. After seeing Crossroads, I see that I have been beaten to the punch, but am comforted with the knowledge that my idea is would have definitely worked.

From the beginning, we learn that there’s trouble. The three girls who bury their dreams (?) did not remain best friends as planned, but have instead grown into three very different stereotypes: The virginal nerd (Lucy – Britney Spears), the bitchy prom queen (Kat – I don’t know), and the Trailer Trash (I don’t remember – I don’t know). Their paths are very different as well, while Virgin Nerd is going to medical school (thereby ignoring her love of singing), Prom Queen is content to be engaged to her perfect boyfriend and Trailer Trash is pregnant. 


A BRITNEY SPEARS GUIDE FOR HOW YOUNG GIRLS SHOULD DRESS

Fate, and excruciatingly bad writing, bring them back together as they all decide to travel across the country with Sex Interest (I think Ben?), a stranger that none of them has ever talked to, and who they suspect of having been in jail for murder. Things start off bad when they realize that they are very low on cash, then get worse when, amidst the terrible fighting of the three stereotypes, the car breaks down. There is only one thing they can possibly do: go to a local New Orleans karaoke bar, get all slutted out, and sing for tips. Obviously. Virgin Nerd is first going to sing backup for Trailer Trash, but when Trash gets scared, Nerd takes over. She is at first astonished that she is really doing it, then realizes just how much she loves performing, and by extension, how much she is going to love sex.

With all the money they rake in, they get a great hotel, and the bonding begins. Sex Interest conveniently disappears, and the three girls talk for hours, dispelling the myths that their school, and the world, has thrust on them. They are now best friends again.

By the end of the movie, we learn many things. Trailer Trash has a heart of gold (She’s not a slut, she was raped!), Prom Queen has a heart of gold (when she finds out that her fiancé is a cheat, as well as Trailer Trash’s rapist, she dumps him and buries the ring), and Virgin Nerd has the heart of an idiot slut (she jumps into bed with Sex Interest, then apparently gives up her medical career to sing songs in ridiculous outfits).

As funny as the story itself is, it is the smaller things that make this movie a true comedy classic. For example, the inconsistencies in the script are so obvious that even a star-struck 14-year-old tween would have to admit noticing. The four of them travel in one convertible car, and yet there is enough trunk space for Prom Queen’s four bags, the other three’s one bag apiece (Virgin Nerd’s being big enough to allow her to be in a different cute, pink, progressively more revealing top every time we see her) and, we find out later, a four-person tent with accompanying sleeping bags. When they get to California and are preparing for the singing competition (did I forget to mention that part?), Sex Interest leaves, saying, “I’ll go get a band together.” A few days later, a perfectly cohesive ensemble is there to back up Britney (I’m sorry, Lucy) as she sings the song that she and Sex Interest have created about one week before. And, best of all, when Over-Protective Father travels to California to rescue his daughter and take her back to medical school, they are driving away to the airport in a very slow moving cab. She turns to him, says about a dozen words, then gets out of the cab to run into the arms of Sex Interest. Both Sex Interest, as well as Over-Protective Father, are elated at this turn of events, thereby proving that all the father wanted for his daughter was to get knocked up by a stranger, and that the stranger wanted far more than a one-night stand with the 18-year-old virgin.

The funniest thing about this movie, by far, is Spears herself. Britney has made a career out of hinting (blatantly) about sex while still talking like a debutante, and this is no exception. So, the clumsy virgin who is completely inept with boys will still jump around on her bed, in her underwear, and sing a Madonna song with choreography. She awkwardly fails to lose her virginity with her equally nerdy (!) lab partner, and yet still knows how to prance around extremely suggestively and self-confidently, and once again in her underwear. Then there are the subliminal hints. Her character’s name is Lucy, and many of the characters call her Loose. She walks into her father’s workplace (he’s a mechanic) and the camera pans down from the exterior of the shop, focusing strongly on the word “Lubrication” before we get down to see Loose. If you think I’m exaggerating or making this up, rent it and see for yourself.

No, don’t.

But if you do, remember these three things:

1. It is appropriate to laugh and mock every time one of the characters cries.
2. Applaud lustily whenever a song or poem (!) finishes.
3. When Trailer Trash is in the hospital after her miscarriage, and says that she had decided to keep her baby, imagine that she has kept it, and it is in a jar of formaldehyde behind her pillow. It adds a whole new dimension to her character.

Author: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer

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