Erin Mallory Long
Updated Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

Crossroads, the 2002 Britney Spears coming-of-age movie. Yes, the movie where they WRITE “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” from her character’s poetry! Yes, the movie that also stars Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning and is written by TV Queen Shonda Rhimes (you can tell because it gets VERY intense by the end).

The fact that I was leaving high school when this movie came out cannot be ignored. The tagline is even “Dreams change. Friends are forever.” Which, when you’re IN your senior year of high school feels very True and Real but once you leave high school you realize it’s not. But that’s fine! I LOVED this movie and let’s discuss five ways Crossroads ruined my life:

1. Wanted to Bury a BFF Time Capsule

I did all of my switching schools and getting new friends fun up until I was 9. And through the kinds of moves we did I ended back at the school I had gone to for kindergarten for 4th and 5th grade. Which was good because it was vaguely familiar but also meant I missed out on years of friendship and bonding as small children. My best friend, Mallory (yes, just like my middle name!) from kindergarten was thankfully in my 4th grade class but we hadn’t kept in touch (and we were 9) so it was a hard adjustment. As a result, she’s my oldest friend who I still know (sadly, mostly via Facebook). So I don’t have From Birth friends who we went through our whole childhood innocence together. I have adolescent friends who we went through awkwardness and puberty together. You don’t make time capsules about puberty.

Anyway, I really envied their time capsule in this movie in particular. It was this thing they agreed to dig up after graduation and they all put aside their current feelings and met up to open it. Very cute and unrealistic but duh, that’s why I watch movies. Not for realism.

2. Culmination of My Britney Love

I was a senior in high school when this movie came out and I can tell you I definitely saw it in the theaters. Which is only interesting to note since as a freshman in high school I turned down and mocked the idea of seeing Britney Spears in concert for next to no money because I didn’t like her. Of course, that quickly changed when I started accepting that I LOVED Britney. This manifested itself in a Pepsi poster of hers (which, as a STAUNCH Coke supporter was a bold move), another poster of her in front of a pink car, that embarrassing collage up there, and my friend Becky making me this amazing box I still have.

Crossroads was the culmination of this Britney love for me. Well, really, if I ever get my butt to Vegas to finally see her in concert, THAT will be the culmination but whatever.

3. Dictated My Karaoke Dreams

It is – in my humble opinion – impossible to watch this movie and not immediately want to go sing “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” with your friends. I also definitely celebrated a friend’s birthday senior year by putting on some weird wide-leg low-rise pants and a black halter top and crimping my hair so … one of us was stealing wardrobe tips from the other, Brit.

4. Confirmed the Idea of Dan Aykroyd as the Everydad

If you were like me and you grew up crying to My Girl, then you already viewed Dan Aykroyd as the Everydad ™. But this movie confirmed all of that for me. I wanted him to be my dad and I wanted it to happen immediately.

I love Dan Aykroyd for all his comedic contributions to society as well but it’s hard for me not to look at him and see Vada’s dad and Lucy’s dad and just want him to be proud of me.

5. Solidified My Obsession With Friend Road Trips

YES! Much like the time capsule, the friend road trip is a staple of any good teen movie. I love a good road trip and, with my family, have road tripped cross-country twice in my life. I also road tripped cross-country with my husband when we moved to L.A. I love a road trip. But there’s a specific Friend Road Trip that has still remained out of my reach. After college, my best friends and I road tripped down to Myrtle Beach and it was great! We all drove in our friend’s family’s car from Jersey down to South Carolina and then partied next to high school students at our hotel with a lazy river. It was wonderful and if only time allowed me to road trip with my friends constantly…

What was I saying? I can’t remember.

“Not a girl, Not Yet a Woman” gets me every time.