Britney Ever After: "I Am Britney Jean, Not Britney Spears"

Director: Leslie Libman
Writer:     Anne-Marie Hess
Starring: Natasha Bassett
                Peter Benson
                Nicole Oliver
                Matthew Harrison
                Nathan Keyes
                Clayton Chitty
                Lindsay Gibson
                Benjamin Arce
Rating:    *

Air Date: February 26, 2017. Lifetime UK

Britney Spears, a pop icon. Lover her or hate her, after nearly 20 years in the business, she has continued to dominate charts, sell out shows and deliver some of the greatest pop music in history. She is an entertainer, and after her rocky relationship with the press and her 2007 meltdown, she made a well deserved comeback, and last year released her ninth album, Glory. There is nothing she hasn't tried to do in this industry, and she will continue to rise despite the business of show constantly trying to tear her down.

Natasha Bassett as Britney Spears
A perfect example of this is Lifetime's unofficial biopic, Britney Ever After. When it was announced last year, Britney's team released a statement immediately that she did not support, condone or approve this film; something that should have instantly halted production...but nope. Instead they carried on, and cast actors that don't even vaguely resemble who they're portraying. Footage then got leaked of them filming a huge moment in Britney's life, but doing it completely inaccurately; however, the inaccuracies I'll cover in a minute.

Let's focus first on the acting. It's bad, to put it bluntly. They seemed to decide that to capture the essence of Britney, they'd giver her a aggressive southern accent, have her say y'all far too many times, and come across as an inept and ditzy blonde that gets excited by cupholders. She has never claimed to be a genius, but to have a business head like hers and still be going after all this time, she certainly isn't a ditz. The rest of the cast were just as bad as Bassett, all playing caricatures of their alter-egos and basically over playing each moment. It looks so amateur and badly made, it's actually hard to watch.

Natasha Bassett & Nathan Keyes
Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake
The writing does not help in the slightest, with cheesy dialogue, a story that jumps around, often inaccurately (again), and scenes that are clearly made up, but in a ridiculously unbelievable way. For instance, the Britney/Justin dance off mere weeks after they split...because all breakups in the 00's ended in a dance off. It is a corny mess, and a perfect example of sloppy script writing. It also makes most of it's characters unlikable and when they are people in the public eye it is confusing as to why they have done this. Justin Timberlake does not get off lightly, but they have painted him as being a neurotic, untrusting and sex-mad maniac...

On to the inaccuracies. First the denim dress, is now a denim jumpsuit, she has a flatscreen TV in her tour 1998, her sister doesn't age between 1998 to 2004, her wigs change colour, she was brunette for most of her breakdown, but they had her blonde, they had her rehearsing Womanizer when she was with Kevin Federline, when her album after him was Blackout; the list is endless and that is just the tip of the iceberg. They also covered the famous paparazzi/umbrella incident; originally at a gas station with her hitting a paps jeep before leaving. In this version, it is daytime on the street, she gets out of her convertible and just swings an umbrella around. They clearly made this film forgetting everyone watching it grew up with her and that it's very easy to Google all of these events and see how wrong they got it.

Natasha Bassett & Clayton Chitty
Britney Spears & Kevin Federline
My final bugbear with Britney Ever After is the music and 'performances'. It was clear that they weren't going to get the rights to her music, so all they could use were the 3-4 covers she has done in her career. To be frank, if you are doing a film about Britney, but you can't use her music...have you really made a Britney biopic. Then comes the performances they 'recreate'. Each performance is done on the same 3 stage blocks, in a dark studio using minimal lighting. VMA performances like the glittery underwear, kissing Madonna and the 2007 Gimme More disaster are covered, but on this same stage. They also have her wearing costumes that don't match, she wears a hat in the Gimme More number, but didn't in real life, it was a completely unnecessary addition. They even recreate her Las Vegas stage that she is current slaying, and yet again she is on that tiny stage...wheres the realise?!

All in all Britney Ever After is terribly written, horribly acted and badly made 'tribute' to the life and career of Britney Spears. Filled with lies, fabricated stories and baffling changes to the smallest and most unnecessary details, it is a wreck. Bassett delivers a speech about her life as Britney being like a car crash, when in reality it is this film that is the car crash, and should never have been greenlit. 

Britney Ever After - Promo