This movie came out in 2002 – please tell me I was not the only stereotypical 12 year old girl that saw this! This movie immediately popped into my head when we were talking about ‘road movies’ in class.
The plot is not very clear in the trailer, but basically Britney Spears has a music audition in LA and her dad will not let her go so she and her friends and this random guy take off after graduation and take a road trip from their little town in Georgia to LA behind his back.
Road Movie Elements
1. Convertible – we discussed how popular driving a convertible is on Route 66 and the association between convertibles and/or muscle cars and the freedom of the open road. At one point, the random guy gets mad at the girls for messing with his car (a 1969 Buick Skylark) and the exact quote, also featured in the trailer, is “I’m a guy, and that’s my car. It’s the last thing that hasn’t been taken over by chicks.” He feels that his masculinity is threatened because his car is surrounded by too much girly stuff during the movie.
2. Traveling West toward California – Route 66 is traditionally traveled westward with the end goal being California mainly if the goal of the trip is purely for tourism and/or if there is something waiting for the passengers in CA. This group is headed to LA specifically to get Brit to her singing audition. This is symbolic of the opportunity that has historically been promised in the West, the Frontier, and California.
3. Horrible singing, goofing off, and shenanigans – let’s face it, the ride is really long and people need to stay entertained. Thankfully for this fab four they’ve got BRITNEY SPEARS in tow! They never get sick of hearing that angelic voice! In my family it’s usually just out of tune sing-alongs and my dad singing classic rock. There is also a ton of goofing off and shenanigans that go down because they are bored, unsupervised teenagers. Part of the tagline from the trailer is “Best friends growing up, and on the road towards everything life has to offer and anything that can happen along the way.” For these friends, the road teaches them about life and leads them to unexpected situations. People who drive on Route 66 can only hope that this will be their fate as well, and for many I am sure it is, to some degree.
So even when I was 12 and only wanted to watch this movie because my girl Brit was in it, I was exposed to the stereotypical road trip ideal and the promise of opportunity out West.