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By Don R. Lewis | January 15, 2002

This review pains me…in more ways than one. I loved American Movie and when I saw that the heroes of that film, Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank had their first starring roles, I was slyly excited. Hell, Schank has TWO films at Sundance (Storytelling the other) and he isn’t even the film maker of that tandem! I knew “Britney Baby – One More Time” wouldn’t be good, but I thought it would at least be funny. Wrong! Oh so wrong.
This movie is just plain lame.
The story goes like this. A cross-dressing Britney Spears (Robert Stephens) wins his chance to meet Britney after he wins a “Britney Look-A-Like Contest” in Wisconsin. As Robert heads off to meet his Diva idol, we discover the local film makers Dude and Mike Schmitz (Borchardt and Schank) are assigned, along with their underpaid crew (Williams and Potter) to interview Britney for the local news. The Schmitz crew and Stephens/Britney meet on the street where all have been tossed from the show. Stephens, for being an impersonator and Schmitz’s crew for Dude asking “the question everyone wants to know.” Are “they” real?
As art imitates life, Dude’s crew needs to be paid for his first feature “Blood Head” which premiered at the “Venice Film Festival” which Dude reminds everyone is in “Venice ITALY, man.” Dude sees Stephen’s as his meal ticket as no one can tell he’s not really Britney. Thus, he tells Stephens he’ll introduce him to Britney if he accompanies the crew to her plantation in Louisiana. Stephens agrees and off we go on what could have and should have been a damn funny movie.
I think what this film is counting on is that we the viewer will be happy to see Borchardt and Schank together onscreen again. And I was….at first. But that’s just not enough. If it was, then Boeken should have just got the two $20,000 and documented their next film making endeavor and made “American Movie 2.” Instead this half cooked “idea” is stretched into 90 minutes of homophobia, cross dressing and Borchardt boozing it up for the camera.
I wanted to like this movie, but it’s just not funny. It has some moments, and Stephen’s actually steals the show as you start to get sort of attached to him. But, it’s totally obvious that the film had to be sort of “nice” to Ms. Spears to avoid an obvious lawsuit, so it skimps on the satire. Cross-dressing Britney loses it’s punch ten minutes in and we’re stuck watching what ends up feeling like a fifth grade play or some kind of weak improv.

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