76 Thoughts I Had While Revisiting Crossroads (2002)

In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t watch anything that doesn’t star a pop artist. I’m kidding, but just barely. Did you scoff when you read the title Crossroads? Did you roll your eyes and consider it just another ridiculous, self-indulgent move by a pop star to further propel themselves into fame? Well, you’re not entirely wrong–but who’s to say that a ridiculous, self-indulgent movie can’t be a rocking good time to watch? That’s right, no one. Check out all of the thoughts I had while giving this one another watch in honor of its 15th anniversary.

  1. The movie opens with the child versions of the movie’s three heroines burying a time capsule full of their dreams. Young Lucy is played by pre-Zoey 101 Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney’s little sister who looks freakishly similar to her.
  2. Crossroads is written by none other than Shonda Rhimes, Must-See Thursday Maven and reigning Queen of ABC’s television lineup.
  3. Britney Spears Song Alert #1: Lucy sings Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” while dancing around her room in her underwear, supposedly getting ready for her last day of school.
  4. Lucy is valedictorian of her class. Enough said.
  5. Lucy’s one friend and co-nerd Henry is played by pre-fame Justin Long.
  6. Mimi, the trashy friend, is played by pre-Orange is the New Black Taryn Manning.
  7. Popular girl Kit is played by pre-fame Zoe Saldana.
  8. When Lucy is crying in her room and says, “I worked really hard to be valedictorian,” you can tell that even Brit-Brit doesn’t buy the words coming out of her mouth.
  9. The band at the graduation night dance is Bowling for Soup playing “My Greatest Day.”
  10. At the moment, Bowling for Soup features an extra member named Anson Mount, AKA Lucy’s future love interest Ben.
  11. Henry and Lucy have apparently planned to lose their virginities to each other on this night. Their hotel room setup, including scarves over the lights and the dulcet tones of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” are so cringeworthy you could die.
  12. Oh god, the two of them keep a list of reasons they should lose their virginities together that they seem to revisit often.
  13. Mimi socks her ex-boyfriend right in the mouth for saying that she, “Let some guy do her in the backseat over Christmas break.” GOOD FOR YOU, MIMI.
  14. When Mimi explains her plan to start a new life for herself by auditioning for a record label in California, Lucy and Kit counter with the fact that she’s pregnant. “What? I’ll wear something slimming.” Y’all, Mimi is really owning this movie right now.
  16. When Lucy leaves for the road trip, she risks waking her father up by leaving a note on his far nightstand, rather than on the kitchen table directly outside his room. Valedictorian, you say?
  17. When Ben says, “You must be Lucy,” to Lucy, my sister responds “Ah yes, and you’re the guy who’s not in Bowling for Soup.”
  18. Britney Spears Song Alert #2: Kit changes the music in Ben’s car to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye,” because who doesn’t want to see 2002 Britney sing her (now ex-) boyfriend’s most famous song of that age?
  19. The girls are horrified to find that Ben expects them to sleep in a tent in the middle of a field on the side of the road, leading me to ask why they haven’t talked any of this out yet.
  20. Seriously, they all just climbed in a car together without a plan.
  21. They have approximately $150 between them, which will absolutely not feed them for a week on the road, let alone two days.
  22. They didn’t even talk about their cash situation. I’m stressed out for them.
  23. AHA! Ben admits that he was just filling in with Bowling for Soup!
  24. Mimi and Kit have no problems barging into the bathroom while Lucy is in the shower, and Mimi actually wipes her hands on the towel that Lucy wraps herself in. This is fairly familiar behavior, considering these girls hated each other for several years before this.
  25. Mimi’s nonchalant response is perfect when they’re discussing the possibility that Ben is a murderer: “So what if he killed someone? He did his time. He paid his debt to society.”
  26. Lucy is an amatuer mechanic with an encyclopedic knowledge of repair costs for classic cars, because why wouldn’t she be?
  27. She’s valedictorian, after all.
  28. Kit wins for best line of the movie: “Stuck in some butthole town, Louisiana.”
  29. Britney Spears Song Alert #3: when Mimi gets stage fright at karaoke, Britney has to take lead on their cover of “I Love Rock’n’Roll,” a pop reimagining of the famous Joan Jett song riddled with record scratching.
  30. The immediately blow a bunch of their karaoke tips on a gigantic hotel room and the entire contents of the minibar.
  31. AND like ten desserts from room service?!
  32. What the hell kind of money did they make at the bar?!
  33. Ben was too mad to stay with them that night, so it’s just the three girls eating all the cake and only two of them drinking what looks like a ton of bottled dirty shirleys.
  34. His loss, because that hotel room is giant and filled with sugar.
  35. Taryn Manning and Zoe Saldana actually do some decent acting work when Mimi is explaining that her pregnancy is the result of rape.
  36. On a lighter note, the girls commit grand theft auto the next morning when they find Ben asleep in his backseat.
  37. Britney Song Alert #4: the girls all sing Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” as they drive Ben’s car without his knowledge.
  38. Upon waking, Ben legitimately makes Britney stop the car on the side of the road so he can get out and throw a proper tantrum.
  39. Mimi’s calm comment cautioning the girls against interrupting Ben’s tantrum: “He’s killed before.”
  40. The big reveal about why Ben was arrested is that he whisked his stepsister away from her abusive father, taking her across state lines and getting himself arrested on kidnapping charges.
  41. Ben’s reaction upon finding out that the girls thought he was a murderer this whole time: “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING GETTING IN THE CAR WITH A HOMOCIDAL MANIAC?!”
  42. The play they hike over to in order to see the view is the set of Britney’s “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” video.
  43. When Mimi teaches Kit to throw a punch, Kit’s hair is bound in big curlers and the visual is amazing.
  44. The worst moment of this movie is, hands down, when Britney performs the chorus of “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” as spoken work poetry around their campfire.
  45. At this point, my roommate has some important things to say about Ben: “Look at that FAAACE! You can’t hate that face, he’s got a good chin.”
  46. Lucy’s estranged mother, who she’s decided to surprise with this little trip, is played by Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City fame.
  47. Considering Lucy’s mother is estranged because she up and abandoned her at the age of four, why did she think this was a good idea?
  48. Upon seeing their next giant hotel room, I have to ask again: how much money did they make at karaoke?
  49. When Lucy returns to the room, drenched and upset, they all flock over to her and kneel at her knees.
  50. However, she clearly wants to be alone, because she jumps up and flees to the bathroom where she sits on the floor and emotes.
  51. Why wouldn’t she sit on the edge of the tub instead?
  52. That floor could be disgusting.
  53. According to Lucy, her mother explained that she never wanted her and that she was a mistake. Roughsies, Kim. And also completely unrealistic, considering she has two other kids already.
  54. In our apartment, we move on quickly: “That shirt is so unfortunate,” my sister says, shaking her head at Lucy’s ruffles.
  55. Britney Song Alert #5: Ben takes Lucy to the lobby’s piano so she can set “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” to music.
  56. This move is what ultimately brings Ben and Lucy together. They kiss. My roommate is unimpressed: “THAT’S PATHETIC! GIVE IT A LITTLE TONGUE, HONEY!” she yells.
  57. In the course of this movie, my roommate has turned into your favorite drunk aunt that loves to make inappropriate comments at choice moments.
  58. Britney Song Alert #6: Lucy and the gang, including Ben, all belt Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” at the top of their lungs while driving.
  59. This scene includes a genuinely sweet moment when Lucy grabs Ben’s hand from the backseat and he playfully bites her.
  60. Their next hotel room is even bigger and includes an OCEAN VIEW??
  62. When Lucy and Ben decide to take their relationship to the next level, they begin disrobing and making out in front of their first floor window–in the middle of the day.
  63. That’s a little exhibitionist-y for a teen movie.
  64. Dylan, Kit’s fiance and douchebag extraordinaire, calls her Kitty Kat and it makes my skin crawl.
  65. Things get serious really fast when it’s revealed that Dylan is the one who raped Mimi and she ends up falling down the stairs, losing the baby.
  66. Taryn Manning pulls off another actually heartbreaking scene when she explains the moment she had decided to keep her baby rather than give her up for adoption.
  67. No one ever remembers the serious shit in this one, you know?
  68. It’s Shonda Rhimes, so it makes sense.
  69. Lucy’s father seems to have some interesting concerns regarding Lucy’s running away from home: “Just what were you thinking running away? With a PREGNANT GIRL?” THAT is the biggest problem you have with this situation?!
  70. When Lucy’s father goes to take the girls home, Lucy is all, “Don’t make me be like mom!” and her father is basically like “Shrug! OKay,” without even a full conversation.
  71. This is where the storytelling kind of breaks down.
  72. Britney Song Alert #7: a full performance of “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” to show us Lucy’s new success as a singer, with backup by Mimi and Kit.
  73. Why didn’t they make a sequel all about their musical career?
  74. The shirt she is wearing is absolutely absurd.
  75. We close with one last Britney Song Alert #8: Britney performs “Overprotected” over the credits, with bloopers interspersed.
  76. “Overprotected” is a way better song than “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” let’s be real.

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at bri@theyoungfolks.com. Twitter: @bri_lockhart