Music Article

Britney Goes On the 'Record,' For Better or For Worse

We reveal our favorite moments from the pop star's MTV documentary

Was it an unrevealing infomercial for her new album, Circus? Or a heartbreaking portrait of a lonely woman? However you perceived MTV's Britney Spears documentary, Britney: For the Record, which premiered on Nov. 30, it was hard to emerge without an opinion. Chronicling 60 days in the life of the troubled star, the 90-minute flick showcased a more serious and somber Britney, not the gum-smacking, navel-baring pop tart of the past. While Britney remained vague about the details of her breakdown, the little moments ended up saying the most. And, like everything that Britney does, this project immediately became ripe for analysis and, of course, mockery. In case you missed it (or are still discussing it), here are the most telling — and our favorite! — moments.

0:01 Confusing Confession ''I think I wanted to make the film because I started to feel like I wasn't being seen in the light that I wanted to be seen in,'' says Spears. ''I don't know exactly what light that is...'' Glad to see you had a clear reason for inviting cameras into your life.

0:26 Dancing Queen Rehearsing for her ''Womanizer'' video, Britney seems herself again — all hair flips, suggestive moves, and actual signs of joy. That's our gal!

0:35 Paparazzi Paranoia Britney attempts to do something ''normal'' by visiting an NYC store, and gets mobbed by aggressive photogs. ''I'm scared,'' she admits.

0:42 Multiple Personalities Who wouldn't want to be Britney? Um...maybe Britney. Here Brit stands in front of a mirror and pretends to be a lawyer named Matilda. Later, she's a witch named Veronica. (Okay, to be totally fair, it is Halloween. But still.)

0:54 Daddy Issues On the set of ''Womanizer,'' Britney does a broad impersonation of her cell-phone-addicted father and legal guardian, Jamie Spears. The act reeks of a bitter daughter now under the watchful eye of her formerly estranged father. But there's an upside: It also shows her flair for improv.

0:58 Tears for Spears In the film's most emotionally honest moment, Britney breaks down and admits she's ''sad.'' ''I don't feel like [my life is] out of control. I think it's too in control. There's no excitement. There's no passion. It's just like Groundhog Day, every day.''

1:03 Hotel California Spears' confessionals were all shot at the Mondrian Hotel in L.A., home to hot spot Skybar. The lounge was frequented by Spears during wilder times, and she reportedly even vomited in the bar's bathroom. Alas, this elephant in the room is never mentioned.

1:06 Madge-ic Reunion Greeted by Madonna backstage at the 50-year-old diva's L.A. concert, Britney looks as uncomfortable as a kid being hugged by her musty, old aunt at Thanksgiving. It's as if Brit doesn't recognize her 2003 VMA make-out partner, which is weird because it's not like Madonna looks any different...

1:10 Clownin' Around Who's that in Britney's backyard, John Wayne Gacy? Oh, no, it's just another terrifying clown — her father, Jamie, dressed up for Halloween. So why are we still afraid?

1:30 Where's Mom? The most glaring omission from Record? Mom Lynne who never even pops up for a simple ''Hi, y'all.'' Was she tending to Jamie Lynn and her new grandchild? Based on a recent photo, she and Britney don't seem to be at odds. Apparently, we'll have to wait for the sequel.

3.8 MILLION Total number of viewers who tuned in to see Britney: For the Record, according to Nielsen Media Research

Originally posted Dec 05, 2008 Published in issue #1025 Dec 12, 2008 Order article reprints