Oops! Britney's tale is stale


April 25, 2004|By Tom Jicha

Brave New Girl is either payback or an investment. There's no way any self-respecting network, even one as low in the pecking order as ABC Family Channel, would commission such a trite film without ulterior motives. Brave New Girl merited special treatment because it is based on a book supposedly written by Britney Spears and her mother, Lynne.

Other candidates for the Nobel in literature can rest easy. But Britney, a published author? The mind reels.

Little Golden Books have more complex plots than Brave New Girl (tonight at 8 and 10 on the Family Channel). A small-town teen with a big voice aspires to be an entertainer. Her lifelong dream is to hone her talents at a prestigious musical school. She's finally accepted under fairy-tale circumstances, only to be shunned by snooty students as well as professors appalled at her lack of formal music training. In the end, she shows them all.

Holly Lovell, a fresh-faced blond teen who seems to have been crafted to look like a Britney in training, dreams big, but her only credit is Dairy Princess in her hometown. Her mother, Wanda, a single parent, is living vicariously through her daughter. Wanda had unrealized show-business dreams of her own -- she yearned to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Alas, the best she can offer Holly is moral support.

Fortunately, Holly has an option. Her boyfriend just came into his uncle's trailer and wants her to move in with him. If she wants to get married, he says, that would be OK, too. This breathtaking proposal comes simultaneously with the improbable scholarship to the elite musical academy, where Wanda and Holly are mocked as the Beverly Hillbillies.

Lindsey Haun, whose credits are limited to some Grade B-minus TV movies, has the biggest role as Holly but Virginia Madsen has the biggest name -- the only name, actually -- in the cast as Wanda. Haun's slim resume isn't going to be enhanced by her nondescript performance, and Madsen, who connects the dots without expending much energy, isn't going to reignite a career in retro burn.

Predicting where each plot thread is headed and how it will be resolved is easier than acing the TV Guide crossword puzzle. It's about as satisfying, too.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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