Britney Baby One More Time
***.5 BM
Starring: Robert Stephens, Mark Borchardt, Mike Schank, Shannon Walker Williams, Frank Potter, Karl Makinen


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Mark Borchardt, ladies and gentlemen.

This guy was profiled in "American Movie" as a half-assed horror movie director with no money or resources other than his own constant desire to make these films. In this film, he's actually acting, but he's pretty much playing himself, only turned up a few notches on the extreme selfishness scale and named Dude Schmitz.. He's a weird guy, man, and I like watchin' him.

In this story, he's trying to make "Sudden Doom" without any money. He gets hired to do a remote at a Britney Spears concert for a local radio station and winds up on a cross-country trip from Milwaukee to New Orleans in a Winnebago with a drag queen Britney look alike, trying to figure out the best ways to scam the TV station and his friends out of money.

While it's not particularly well acted or smoothly written, I wasn't expecting that once I realized that it was going to be Mark Borchardt playing a role. I just love the guy's mannerisms and whole general self, quite hilarious here sometimes and also when he's doing remote spots on Letterman. Plus there's the bonus of Mike Schank, his fucked up stoner friend also making the transition from playing his absurd self to an absurd character, although that's hardly a transition at all. He's just given some lines this time around.

Stephens makes a pretty likable drag queen, too, and at times looks disturbingly like Britney, which of course would tend to make him look self-questioningly attractive.

Of course, you can't really escape the fact that it isn't very well acted and the writing could use some work, but there are enough good scenes and funny bits to make it worth seeing when you get a chance. Of course, if you haven't yet, you must see "American Movie" first to gain an appreciation of the magic that is Borchardt.

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