Stars: * 1/2
Rating: PG-13 for mild language and sexuality
Run Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
I’ve got to hand it to the folks at Paramount Pictures – they certainly know their target market. Ninety minutes of Britney Spears baring her midriff, prancing around in her underwear, warbling her throaty tunes and losing her virginity – what more could a pre-pubescent audience ask for?
Oops, did I give it away? Spears is Georgian good-girl Lucy; class valedictorian, model daughter, late-bloomer. On graduation night, Lucy barely escapes a lackluster deflowering by the class nerd, instead agreeing to a spontaneous road trip to L.A. with her now-estranged childhood bosom buddies.
A ’73 Buick convertible, a handsome, mysterious driver (Anson Mount as Ben) and a pocketful of dreams. First stop Arizona, where Lucy hopes to confront the mother she’s never known. Next stop, the City of Angels, where travel pals Kit (Zoe Saldana) and Mimi (Taryn Manning) have both romantic and professional business to attend to.
Surprise of surprises, there’s more to little-miss-goody-two-shoes than meets the eye. Seems she can really belt out a tune, a valuable skill when the Buick breaks down and the group needs to come up with some quick cash (don’t ask).
Will Lucy and her mother reconcile? Will Lucy’s “first time” be with someone really special? Will estranged friends bridge the broken bonds of time? Only the movie gods (and, unfortunately, I) know for sure.
I’ll give Britney this – she’s cute as a button, and she delivers the musical goods. Not to mention a plethora of mixed messages for teenage girls, as illustrated by her new tweener hit “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”. Could have fooled me.