Ridiculous Road Movie a Poor Vehicle for Spears

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Sobczynski Daily Herald Correspondent

"Crossroads"

out of four

Opens today

Written by Shonda Rhimes. Produced by Ann Carli. Directed by Tamra Davis. A Paramount Pictures release. Rated PG-13 (language). Running time: 94 minutes.

Cast:

Lucy Britney Spears

Ben Anson Mount

Kit Zoe Saldana

Mimi Taryn Manning

Father Dan Aykroyd

Even though "Crossroads" was designed as a vehicle for her, teen diva Britney Spears seems horribly miscast and uncomfortable.

The recent "A Walk to Remember" was nobody's idea of a competent movie, but at least pop singer Mandy Moore attempted an actual performance. Spears, on the other hand, has confused posing with acting, which you can get away with in a music video, but not in a feature film.

However, the blame for the film shouldn't entirely go to her. Director Tamra Davis has made a couple of decent films in the past (including the infinitely better road movie "Gun Crazy"), but here she seems unfamiliar with even the basic concepts of filmmaking. Because of incompetent camera placement, the question "Where's the phone?" provokes the most inadvertently hilarious moment of the film.

With its road movie/follow-your-dreams trappings, "Crossroads" resembles nothing so much as a remake of "The Muppet Movie." The difference, of course, is that the Muppets had real, recognizable emotions and behavior.

"Crossroads" would have us believe that Spears' character, Lucy, is her school's valedictorian who plans on going into pre-med. …