Why Did Britney Cross the Road?

To find her long-lost mother--and sing a few songs along the way

It's hard not to love a movie that posits Britney Spears as a nerd, a high school valedictorian, an aspiring med-school student, an amateur mechanic and the spawn of Dan Aykroyd. When she finally reveals that she's also a poet, sincerely reading Dido's lyrics for "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" as though they were Wordsworth to her aptly named love interest Anson Mount, it's one of the funniest moments to ever grace the big screen--save, perhaps, for a subsequent scene in which the big lug "surprises" her with the revelation that "I...uh...came up with some music for your poem." The "plot" involves a road trip designed to take Britney to her long-lost mother (Kim Cattrall, punching the clock) and pregnant-by-date-rape friend Mimi (Taryn Manning, looking and acting drunk throughout) to a singing audition. By film's end, both goals have been written off as completely irrelevant, subsumed by Britney's need to get laid and surpass her friend in the singing department. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for car stereo singalong, so we get Britney's renditions of hits by 'N Sync, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain and so on. Mandy Moore may technically be the better actress, but A Walk to Remember was nowhere near this much fun. Highbrow self-appointed guardians of culture need not apply, but those who loved Cool as Ice have at last found a worthy follow-up.
 
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