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February 14, 2002 10:14am
Britney Makes Not So Innocent Movie Debut
Source: Reuters
by: Jill Serjeant

(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Pink, perky and down to her panties before you can say "Oops! she did it again," pop princess Britney Spears makes a not so innocent movie debut on Friday.

But the big question is not so much the wisdom of pop's most famous virgin losing her virginity on screen, as whether the movie will be as big a box office bust as fellow songstress Mariah Carey's "Glitter."

"Crossroads" is a coming of age road movie written specifically for Spears, now 20, about three friends who confront what she calls "issues that teenagers really deal with" -- in this case unwanted pregnancy, implied date rape, first time sex, miscarriage, love, a runaway mother, and, of course, finding yourself. It carries a PG-13 rating in the United States.

The movie was reportedly met with laughter by London reviewers at a press screening last month, forcing Spears to field endless questions ever since comparing "Crossroads" with the fate of "Glitter."

While one reviewer called her acting "respectable" others have been less than kind, accusing her of being on a humorless Britney ego-trip.

"I don't know how my movie is going to do... I'll see how it does and if it is a big flop, then I'll know what NOT to do next time," Spears said gallantly this week.

"They (critics) can talk about personal stuff as much as they want. But as long as they don't talk about -- knock on wood -- my performance and what I do, that would really hurt. But so far they haven't really gone there," she said, adding with a nervous giggle; "I probably shouldn't have said that."


Mariah Carey's "Glitter," the semi-autobiographical tale of a wannabe pop star, opened with scant promotion last September because the singer was recovering from a nervous breakdown. Carey was last month paid $28 million to walk away from her recording contract after poor sales of the "Glitter" album.

The same cannot be said of Spears who has been popping up with her trademark bare navel all over the United States and Europe to promote a movie deemed inappropriate for her "tween" fan stronghold, as are her ever more raunchy outfits and recent steamy pop videos.

Spears, dogged by her famous declaration that she planned to remain a virgin until marriage, defended the off-camera love scene with actor Anson Mount. "I thought it was necessary for the character. I thought it made sense," she said.

Spears plays a goody two shoes whose father wants her to be a doctor but who secretly fantasizes about being a pop star (surprise, surprise). Her first scene has her lip-syncing to a Madonna hit in her bedroom, clad in a T-shirt and panties.

Minutes later, casting inhibition further aside, she strips down to pink lacy underwear for a surreptitious rendezvous with her high school lab partner.

Driving the movie is a pop soundtrack featuring Marvin Gaye, Shania Twain, Madonna and Sheryl Crow as well as, naturally, three songs from Spear's third hit album "Britney."

Spears, who has dominated pop music since releasing her first single at the age of 16, said she had wanted to try movie acting since she was a kid but admits that performing in front of a camera posed more of a challenge than giving a concert.

"I know that my home and my heart is my music always and being on tour and singing and dancing -- that's what makes me happiest," she said.

"But I think you should never put boundaries on yourself. You should always want to grow ... and I learned a lot during this. .... I put my heart into it and that's all I can do. Just do my best and hopefully they will see that."

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