Britney Spears was a professional virgin in her pubescent pop star years. She's back there in this, her first movie.

Lucy is a sensible girl. She lives with her dad (Dan Ackroyd), who is a garage mechanic. Her mom took a runner when she was three and has never stayed in touch. Dad wants her to study medicine. She wants to pursue - you've guessed it - a music career.

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At high school in Georgia, she wins the top accolade and yet does not seem to have any friends. The sixth form nerd takes her to bed on Prom night, but it's a failure. He's clueless and she can't stop laughing.

Like so many pop-singer-turned-actor cinematic debuts, this is a road movie. Lucy's best pals from junior high have grown apart. Kit (Zoe Saldana) is a fashion victim, self-centred and black. Mimi (Taryn Manning) is scruffy, disenchanted and pregnant. Somehow, they end up in Ben's car, driving to Los Angeles to enter a singing competition. Lucy joins them because she wants to drop off en route to see her mother and in order to do so has to disobey her dad which she is not happy about. Ben (Anson Mount), by the way, is a guitarist with a criminal record. He turns out to be as responsible as Lucy.

The plot is predictable, although the characters are a little less sweet than you might expect. Britney's performance cannot be faulted. Lucy's a dull girl, that's all. The songs are as memorable as yesterday's lettuce and even in revealing stage clothes, Britney's sex appeal appears artificial.

At one moment, Ben storms off to kick a cactus because he's had enough of being the only guy in a gaggle of girls. You feel for him. Lucy plays mom and calms his troubled mind with soft words and a cuddle. She's such a brick.

Reviewed on: 27 Mar 2002
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Britney Spears and friends take a road trip to LA to enter a singing contest.
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Director: Tamra Davis

Writer: Shonda Rhimes

Starring: Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, Kim Cattrall, Dan Aykroyd, Justin Long

Year: 2001

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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