Cheesy Romance Month: Crossroads


Crossroads_posterEvery year, I have to review at least one of these cheesy romance movies that just makes me hurt all over. I don’t know what I was expecting from this one. I guess Netflix deemed that I had to give up a solid bit of one of my days to sit through the Brittney Spears vanity project only slightly less prepackaged trite compared to Mariah Carey’s Glitter. On that note, I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I didn’t have to sit through Glitter… Small victories… Small victories. Either way, let’s talk about the lovely little gem that I queued up for myself. I am quite happy that Hollywood has gotten away from the concept of turning a pop artist into a movie star. I guess after From Justin to Kelly, Glitter, and this fiasco, they have realized that just because someone is talented in one field, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be an instant success in the movie industry.

The story of the Crossroads takes our hero Lucy Wagner (Brittney Spears) back to her high school graduation. Her and her friends Kit and Mimi (Zoey Saldana and Taryn Manning) buried a ‘wish box’ when they were kids. After graduating, the three open their wish box and agree to go out and follow their various dreams with a massive road trip to California. So the three girls, with the help of random sexy dude and generic male romantic lead, Ben (Anson Mount) the three go off to see their coming-of-age story blossom into fruition.

Pros

It’s Harmless Fluff Material

One of my biggest cons for a movie that sucks (beyond its technical issues) is the message that the movie is trying to send to people. For instance, let’s take the movie The Great Gatsby, one of the first movies that I ever reviewed. It was a visually stunning movie, as one would expect from Baz Luhrman, however the movie did not portray the true message of the Great Gatsby of the horrors of American excess. Instead, thanks to the power of Leonardo DiCaprio, people took home the message that everyone should have gigantic and lavish 1920’s style parties because that is the cool thing to do.

While we can talk about the problems with leaving on a cross country tour with nothing but a beaten up car and your hopes and dreams, beyond that, this movie is rather harmless. The stories, while stereotypical and trite, aren’t anything that are sending negative messages or glorifying a toxic relationship. Even though the movie is the bottom of the barrel of these kinds of movies… I can’t fault it too much on that front.

Consdownload

The Male Romance Character is so Generic that you Lose Him in a Crowd

I don’t know if this is par for the course for Anson Mount. I haven’t really seen anything else that he has been in. But this man is the literal definition of generic. They seemed to generate this guy out of the ‘tested and true romantic lead’ factory. He has five o’clock shadow and a muscle car that lets you know he is a bad boy. But he also has a soft side and you can tell that whenever he is not fixing his damn car, he is off fixing babies as Donald Glover would say.

If you are going to make a generic character like that you have to give him something ANYTHING that cuts him away from the horde. Tragically, Mount does not have it and is lost quickly from a group of much more interesting characters.

Past Its Prime for 2000’s

You know when would be a good time for a Spears movie? 2000! 2000 is after Spears greatest hits were released. Two years later, Spears would already be quick to the downward spiral, her album that went along with this was not that impressive, and by all accounts people had already left Spears for pastures greener. This movie seemed destined to fail opposed to sending Spears into this new heights of popularity and success.

The first movie that comes to mind is the Village People’s Don’t Stop the Music. While this isn’t the king of bad timing like the Village People’s movie, it is most certainly in the same category of poorly timed movies.

Stereotypical Storytelling

This movie is an amalgamation of stereotypical and trite story telling with absolutely no nuance or twists. A group of girls who were friends when they were kids reunite after high school and go on a cross country tour to learn about life and learn to love all over again. One girl will confront her estranged mother, another girl will find her boyfriends, and another one wants to take a long road trip before she has to have a child. Even the ‘twists’ that come up are expected and the movie is a carbon copied Made for Disney Channel type of series. You can tell that this was a slap job of a movie that was meant to do nothing more but to boost Spears as a movie star as well as a music star and because of this, the movie just feels like a blueprint on how to make disney romance-comedy coming of age movie that better movies can take the plot and build a good plot around.

Conclusion

This movie is terrible. While it is ‘harmless’ it has little to no value beyond that. The acting is bad, the characters are bland, the story is trite, and it is just not a fun experience. While I can see it having a sort of nostalgia appeal, I cannot see this movie being much more beyond that.

Final Score 1.5

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