Star Power

A fun road trip with some great music.

It's hard to enter "Crossroads" with an open mind - after all, "Glitter" is still fresh in the public's collective mind, and a movie starring a pop star automatically has to work harder just to get the seats filled. But "Crossroads" is, luckily, not another "Glitter"; rather, it's a fun teenage romp that should win you over with its young, energetic take on serious problems.

The stars of "Crossroads" are three teenagers, Mimi (Taryn Manning), Lucy (Britney Spears) and Kit (Zoe Saldana), who, when they're still in school, make a pact to stay friends forever by burying a box containing their most cherished dreams. Ten years later, they're all grown up, each with their own problems: Mimi is pregant, Lucy is being forced by a domineering father into a career she doesn't want, and Kit is engaged to a college graduate who might be cheating on her.

When they get together one night to dig up their old memories, they decide to join Mimi and her friend Ben (Anson Mount) on a road trip to California. Kit wants to see her fiancee; Lucy wants to see her mother, whom she's never seen before; Mimi just wants to leave town. As they drive through America, though, their shared experiences conspire to change them...and the dreams they were so sure of when they left.

While "Crossroads" could easily have become a saccharine-sweet drama, it saves itself from that awful fate by infusing its storyline with a sense of youthful energy and a few surprises: the mysterious Ben, who might or might ot be a killer, the secret Mimi's been protecting and the surprise Lucy gets when she finally meets her mother. These surprises, together with the cast's on-screen chemistry make this a film you'll leave with a smile on your face. At least some of us have learnt from history.

This article was first published on 10 May 2002.