'Crossroads' & 'Scandal' Are So Similar (Really)

by Kaitlin Reilly

When I was a kid I begged my dad to take me to see the Britney Spears movie Crossroads . At the time, I didn't realize how hooky the plot was or that while Spears' was (and still is) the reigning pop princess, an actress she was not. I loved every second of that movie, and, if I'm being honest, that sentence doesn't have to be in the past tense. I still adore Crossroads, so much so that I've watched it twice within the past six months — once on Netflix, and once at a dive bar where the bartender seemed to love it just as much as I do. Maybe it has to do with the Crossroads screenwriter, Shonda Rhimes, just a little TV icon. NBD. Rhimes is the mastermind behind shows like Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, and it's no wonder that she also penned the flick that framed my childhood. I was living in Shondaland long before Shondaland was even a thing.

Crossroads may not be as critically acclaimed as some of Rhimes' TV shows (Crossroads has a dismal 14 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, whomp) but that doesn't mean that the movie doesn't share any DNA with Rhimes' television work. Here's why Crossroads is actually way more similar to the other projects in Shondaland:

1. There Are Plenty Of Mommy Issues To Go Around

Even Mama Pope would shake her head at the way Lucy's (Spears) mother treats her. Not only does she abandon Lucy and her father, she also starts an entirely new family without even mentioning that fact to her eldest daughter. The other moms in Crossroads aren't great, either — Kit's mom is always mad at her for being pretty and Mimi's mom is completely MIA.

2. There's A Bad Boy With A Heart Of Gold

Road trip driver Ben is assumed to be a murderer, but he's actually just a rebel whose only real crime is caring too much. The doctors on Grey's Anatomy may verge into cad territory from time to time but deep down all they want is to love and save lives. Or something.

3. Female Friendship Rules

The slogan for Crossroads is "Dreams change. Friends are forever." That may as well be Grey's Anatomy's slogan... at least, it was when Cristina was around.

4. The 'Ship Game Is Strong

Come on, you just knew you wanted Ben and Lucy to get it on the second she stepped into his Buick.

5. Tragedy Is Perpetually Around The Bend

Mimi's miscarriage was the most grounded thing to happen in Crossroads, and it was devastating. Moments like that can happen during any episode of a Shondaland show.

6. The Women Rule

The true mark of a Rhimes project? Plenty of interesting, compelling characters — many of whom just happen to be women. Say what you will about Spears' wooden acting, but at least Lucy was just as fleshed out as any of the dudes on screen... to which there were few and far between.

See? It's not so surprising that Shonda was behind the whole thing after all.

Images: Paramount Pictures (screenshot); Giphy (6)