There’s a new documentary out about Britney Spears revolving around her court-sanctioned conservatorship order that has lasted thirteen years and counting. I Care a Lot, described as a psychological thriller, shows how these orders really work. They are intended to protect those that need spoon fed and allocated pocket money, but only if they show that they need it. Britney’s conservation order is dictated by her divorced father, Jamie Spears. This is the documentary I thought I was watching, but I was wrong. Unbreakable is a rehash of Britney’s rise and fall.
Louise Burke, Deputy Editor ‘More’ and another talking head takes us through it. We get a few clips thrown in for free. Many of them on a loop.
Rags to riches is straightforward. Born 2nd December 1981 in Kentwood Louisiana, population 2200. Small-town mentality. Everyone knew everyone else and nobody had much money. School teacher mom. Building contractor dad.
Stage Mom, Very driven. Aged three, doing solos and performing for audiences. Even at three she had talent and her parents were taking her off to competitions. Flying to Atlanta. Flying to New York. Chasing the American Dream.
By the age of four, Britney was wearing makeup and dressed to the nines.
Aged eight, her mum flew her to Atlanta to audition for the Mickey Mouse Club. The producers thought she was too young, but they kept in touch. Her family moved to New York to try and launch her as a child actress. And she lived there for several years trying to make it, but she never did.
Family heavily in debt after trying to launch Britney as a child star. Despite her winning roles in adverts. The family were forced to declare bankruptcy.
Age eleven, second audition for the Mickey Mouse Club saw her accepted. She landed lead roles beside Christine Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. A relationship developed with Timberlake, who had a similar career driven mom.
Aged 15, returned to New York to try and find a career which involved singing in a band. First album (Baby One More Time) sold 25 million copies. Biggest album sales, by teenager, to date. She was marketed as a virginal teenage Lolita.
1999 top of the world. Breaks up with Timberlake 2002, after rumours she was cheating with her choreographer. (3 number 1 albums behind her). Britney’s parent’s divorce, two months later.
Courted controversy. MTV kiss with Madonna. Madonna took a piece of her, but no one talked about Britney’s performance after that, but her salaciousness. Her controversy. New Album, In the Zone.
Toxic 2004. Suddenly married childhood friend Jason Alexander (small-town boy). Marriage lasted 55 hours, before being annulled on the grounds of incompatibility. 3 Jan 2004.
Six months engaged to back-up dancer Kevin Federline. He had just split from his wife that had just given birth to their second child. Britney proposed to him. Married, Sept 2004. Britney announced she was taking a break from performing, possibly because she was pregnant.
Two weeks after the wedding, severed links with her mother and fired her manager.
2005 Greatest Hits and My Prerogative. Announced she was pregnant. Sean Preston Federline born. 6th September 2005, gave birth to her second son, Jaden James. November, filed for divorce.
Paparazzi turned on her because of her relationship with her children. She was selfish (not self-aware) they declared. More famous for her lifestyle than her career. Public far less forgiving when a women has children and they see pictures of her partying.
She courted the press, sleeping with one of the paparazzi. Being on camera is a drug. She lives for that attention (aged 25, 26, and 27). Out of control. Two tattoos, checked in and out of rehab twice. Shaved off her hair. Head-shaving picture went viral around the world. Went wild and partied on the LA nightclub scene. Her lifestyle became toxic. Late Sept 2007, charged with a hit and run incident she lost custody of her children.
Tony Baretto, ex-bodyguard declared. ‘I felt sorry for her as a parent.’
Taken to hospital (a few times) after, for example, locking herself in the toilet with her child. Her father stepped in. (Jamie Spears). 26-year-old singer again surrounded by paparazzi as she drove around LA.
Discharged herself from hospital. Eaten alive by her own celebrity.
Britney’s father her conservator. She could not manage her own affairs. Bipolar rumour?
2008 album. Blackout went to the top of the charts. Circus, 2008 fastest selling album. Womanizer became number 1 in Billboard Charts. Everybody likes to see a comeback. As she approaches her 30th birthday.
Unbreakable is a calendar with windows. The viewer can have a look at Britney now and fresh-faced Britney. Her trajectory follows that of other Hollywood stars such as Judy Garland. She had no childhood. It was work, work and more work. Her self-image was tied in with being popular. Her success was tied in with being young and virginal. Something had to give and if she snapped any bubble-gum psychologist would be able make a case for whatever theory s/he was proposing. I’m no music fan. No Britney fan. If asked if I felt sorry for a multimillionaire my laugh would be so hollow it would most likely choke me. But, yeh, even on the meagre rations offered here, I feel sorry for the new Britney. Whether she should be free from the conservation order? I don’t care. The irony here is the stage mother that set her up, is out of the loop. Her father reaps what he has not sown; surely that’s a more accurate image of The American Dream?