It was bound to happen. It’s Britney on Lifetime, Bitch. If Saved By The Bell can have its own dramatized version of behind-the-scenes drama, obviously one of the biggest pop stars of our generation would get her own TV movie too. Over the weekend, Britney Ever After premiered, and it gave viewers a peek behind the stage lights and into her pop star lifestyle. From 1998 to 2015, it covers a lot of ground over her career, and no doubt did I have a lot of questions, comments and concerns about this film. Let’s dive right in to Lifetime’s Britney Ever After.
Concern: I’m already questioning the actress who’s playing Britney
I’d like to preface this post by saying I am a Britney fan. I have been since 1998, and her …Baby One More Time tour was the first ever concert I went to. I’ve seen her live multiple times and always pick her over Christina any day. This commentary is all coming from a place of love.
Now that that’s out of the way, the actress who plays Britney is Natasha Bassett, who is surprisingly Australian. Her Southern accent is not that great, but considering she’s not from the U.S., I’ll give her props for even sounding American. Don’t get me started on her mom Lynne (played by Nicole Oliver), who sounds more like a Georgia Belle instead of a backwoods Louisiana native. The acting from Natasha is already subpar. “I wanna be Britney Jean. I’m Britney Spears” Also her accent is… not good. And her mom’s accent is more George Belle as opposed to backwoods of Louisiana. Oh and Natasha’s acting is exactly what you’d expect from a Lifetime movie.
Comment: I’m excited Fe gets a prominent role in this
Any die hard Britney fan knows exactly who Fe aka Felicia Culotta is. She was a family friend long before she became Brit’s assistant back in the late 1990s, and was constantly by her side as she rose to fame. They had a falling out in 2007 (when Fe went to go work for the Jonas Brothers), and she is working for Brit again, so all is right with the world. In the movie, Fe’s storyline isn’t excessive or dramatic and pretty straightforward so she luckily didn’t get the shaft in the movie. As for other tertiary Brit posse, I’m kind of upset her backup dancer TJ didn’t get a role in Britney Ever After. I legit went to her Baby One More Time tour because I thought he was cute.
Question: Fake Justin actually sounds like Justin?
We’re introduced to Justin Timberlake when he meets up with Britney the first night she opens up for *NSync. As she’s standing on the stage looking out into the empty arena, he approaches in the shadows, so all we see is the outline of his ramen hair. But when fake Justin starts talking we KNOW it’s Justin because he actually does sound like real Justin and it’s a little freaky. The look however…
Concern: Britney’s dad seems too angry
Obviously we don’t know how he was IRL, but Jamie Spears is coming off like a real angry and frustrated asshole. I choose not to believe this characterization.
20 minutes later: He’s a “drunk” who gets angry and leaves whenever something mildly goes wrong… so this is obviously an asshole move, but is this really what he did?
Comment: The Most Disturbing Version of *NSync
The rest of *NSync doesn’t have a prominent role in Britney Ever After, but thankfully they do show up in a pivotal moment when they surprise her with an a cappella serenade and birthday cake. It is… a thing that happened.
“You’re one year older, girl” JT to Brit
Question: Did Britney and Justin really have their first kiss drunk and in front of a tour bus?
Slash have sex on her tour bus?! And he told her he loves her? All in the span of like 10 minutes?!
Question: Are we going to hear at least one real Britney song?
All the songs played in the film are fake pop songs that might as well be demos that Britney passed on when she was still trying to find a hit pre-Baby One More Time. The only songs we see her performing are covers of covers she recorded – EG: Satisfaction and I Love Rock and Roll, which means it was such a blatant problem with getting the rights to her songs.
Instead of hits like Toxic and Womanizer being played in the background, we got to hear pop songs that included lyrics like, “I wanna feel you down with me/You know I’d do you right/You know we got all night/I wanna feel you down with me. RAP BREAK.” Did I mention this was during her wedding reception with Kevin Federline?
Question: Did Brit & Justin really get their nicknames from a ring?
JT gives her a ring after her performance at the 2000 VMAs and it only fits on her pinky finger. So he calls her Pinky. And she says, “Then I’ll just have to call you Stinky”. Is this really the origin story of these nicknames?! Brand new information. Also, very dumb.
Comment: This love montage looks like Brit & Justin’s Hello Magazine spread
Comment: OH SHIT WADE ROBSON
We’re introduced to choreographer Wade Robson as he grinds up on Brit during dance rehearsals and introduces her to Banana the snake for the famous Slave 4 U VMA performance. But also, if you don’t know, Wade is reportedly the guy Brit cheated on Justin with and the subject of JT’s Cry Me A River. Also a v good friend to both Brit and JT. Wade co-wrote Britney’s track What It’s Like To Be Me off her Britney album, and it was the only song she ever collaborated with Justin on (bonus clip: watch Justin mention Wade while talking about said track, after surprising her on a MTV special – around 3:45).
Later, Brit and Justin have a fight in a club (she told him he was slipping on the charts) and when she returns to her room crying, who’s there to cheer her up? Fucking WADE. And Justin finds out they (allegedly) slept together after finding from a doodle Wade made??? I hope that’s not how he found out.
Comment: Dancers Abound
There’s a montage of Brit auditioning dancers and it makes me think about how my hip hop teacher was a backup dancer in her Crazy video. True story.
Comment: Kudos for the exercise scene
Brit used to do like 500 sit ups every day, which is why the montage of her crazily exercising in her room probably isn’t TOO far from the truth.
Question: Are they having a post-breakup dance off?
Yes. The answer is yes.
Comment: The Justin Breakup Really Did a Number on Brit
After her VMAs 2003 performance with Madonna and Christina makeout sesh, she gets off the stage and asks her mama, Fe and Larry Rudolph (her longtime manager) if they think Justin liked it. Except he had already moved on to Cameron Diaz. Britney’s mom already mentioned she had been acting up after their split, but we’re still 4 years away from the ’07 head shaving incident.
Question: Do we all forget Britney was married for 48 hours?
Just me? There’s so much other shit that went down that I always forget she was married to Jason Alexander. And she was a hot mess in this scene.
Comment: Kevin Federline Seems Like a Skeeze
Britney’s second husband is introduced to us in a scene where she and KFed are making out in a stairwell before her show. There is WAY too much tongue being used and I had to legitimately look away. Was this supposed to show us that their relationship was purely sexual? That they had a hot marriage which resulted in two (of a total of six) kids?
Other things I learned about their marriage: KFed’s is nickname was supposedly “Meat Pole”, there were allegations he cheated on her which planted the seeds of the imminent split, and she supposedly texted him to let him know she was done with him, with the phrase, “I wnt 2 divorce u.”
Concern: Just general concern for Britney 2007
I’m still not over this. She needed help and the only media made her even crazier. It makes me frustrated and sad, but in the end very proud that she was able to distance herself from the people who tried to take advantage of her and gain back control of her life.
Comment: The Sam Lutfi Dude Is Still Creepy
Sam somehow got close enough to Brit that he was hired as her “manager”, but he was no bueno. At the time, he already had two outstanding restraining orders against him, so already off to a great start. In the movie, he’s correctly portrayed as someone who is just in Brit’s life for the fame and money, clearly not getting her the help she needed during the dark days. What an asshole. Britney’s parents ultimately got a restraining order against Sam, and in the film, the order is literally thrown at his face. It’s great.
Question: I still don’t get why this is called Britney Ever After?
It goes all the way up to the opening of her Vegas show… which is still happening… and I’m starting to think this was just one giant commercial for her residency and they just acted like she had no part in it. LARRY RUDOLPH IF THIS IS TRUE, I APPLAUD YOU.
*cue the I Am Britney Jean documentary right after this film ends. Seriously.*
Phrases used to show it’s not present day: “Look a Furby!””Straight buggin… The bomb diggity.” We get it. It’s 1998.
“Cool friggin beans – BUNKBEDS!?” Definitely something Brit would’ve said
Jamie Spears calls Brit and Justin’s alleged sex tapes “boudoir videos” after they were stolen from her home.
*Justin surprises Britney after being out on the road, and shows up at her door with finger guns*
Brit: “Is this a stick up?” Justin: “I’m about to rob you… of your heart!”
“Who’s that fool?… A clown is what she’s got.” Her bodyguard when he first sees Brit making out with Kevin Federline