Say what you want about singers trying out acting (though if it’s negative, it’s wrong…), but Britney Spears’ 2002 flick Crossroads is a classic and something that should not be missed by any romcom lovers. Not only should it not be missed, but it should be greatly appreciated.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the film’s release and I still have so much love for it every time I watch it. Which is a few times a year. What I love most about this movie is that it has a super sweet romance between Britney’s Lucy and Anson Mount’s Ben, but it also has such a great storyline about female friendship, which we don’t often see in teen romcoms.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet (shame on you, get to it!) or just need a refresher, here’s a quick breakdown.
Lucy (Britney Spears) is super smart and gorgeous and sweet. She’s daddy’s little girl since her mom left them when Lucy was very young. She wants to study music, but her dad wants her to be doctor. The movie starts with her dancing and singing in her underwear and a cowboy hat, in what’s a very fun opening scene.
Upon graduating from high school, Lucy decides to break out of her shell and agrees to go on a cross-country road trip with her two childhood best friends, Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning), who she had long since had a falling out with (Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn Spears plays Younger Lucy in a flashback!), as well as a guy they just met at a party, Ben (Anson Mount).
What comes is an adventure filled with romance for sweet Lucy and misunderstood Ben, and a rekindling of a long-lost friendship for the three girls. They learn about everything they’ve missed in each other’s lives since they parted ways years ago and begin to forge an even stronger bond than they once had. They all have different personalities, but they all find a way to to each other something important.
I love that the women teach that they should stand up for themselves, their wants, needs, ideas. It’s important for them and it’s important for everyone watching. This is done through Mimi teaching Kit how to throw a punch, the girls telling Lucy to believe in herself and go after her dreams, and demanding that Mimi understands that she deserves better in her life. Oh, and he road trip wouldn’t be complete without the girls singing along to *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” and Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” in the convertible with the top down.
As for the budding romance in the movie, it’s lovely. Lucy and Ben are both reclusive in their own ways, but as the film progresses they bring out each other’s personalities and begin to open up in ways they hadn’t before. Plus, Anson Mount’s facial expressions are perfect.
I mean, come on. Her sincere smile and his lip bite? It doesn’t get much cuter.
Except it does get even better. Like I’ve mentioned before, my favorite scene in every romcom is when the guy makes that expression like he’s really seeing the woman for the first time. This is usually brought on by the girl coming out in a killer outfit.
This movie happens to have one of my all-time favorite examples of this. The road trip crew realize they are broke and need money to fix their damaged car and what better way to raise money than with a karaoke contest? Originally Mimi was set to sing lead and Kit and Lucy were to be back-up, with Ben acting as spectator in the bar. But a last-minute case of stage fright brings Lucy front and center to take on Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N’ Roll.” To make sure the girls get the big bucks, they ditched their casual clothes for some rockin’ attire. Sweetheart Lucy turns up the sexy and good ‘ol Ben definitely approves. I’m pretty sure Ben’s expression is what Apple modeled the 😍heart-eyed😍 emoji after…
Thank you, Anson Mount, for this bug-eyed look that makes me smile every time I watch the scene. Just perfect.
After this, the rest of their love story is set in stone. Each scene brings Lucy and Ben closer together, with him even taking the time to turn Lucy’s poems into full-on songs by writing her music. *Swoon*
While Lucy is having the time of her life, her dad isn’t too happy about any of it. Which is why he sets out to come and bring her home.
In the end, Lucy follows her heart and chooses Ben and her music, instead of following her dad back home. During the end credits, the movie continues on the side with Lucy auditioning for a record deal, singing her beautiful song “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman,” followed by sassy “Overprotected.” Both incredibly fitting for the movie.
Friendship. Romance. Great stars. Musical backdrop. These characteristics make Crossroads a staple in any teen romcom collection. Or any movie collection, in general. So take a moment to praise this prime example of a classic teen romcom on its 15th anniversary!
When you’re done reminiscing alone, come back and reminisce in the comments below with your favorite scenes from the movie, where you were when you first watched, and anything else you’d like to share!