A bunch of teen movies debuted in 1999, but only one starred the sweet Melissa Joan Hart and swoony Adrian Grenier, delivered a remix of Britney Spears’ “(You Drive Me) Crazy” and gave fans the next-door neighbor, fake dating and makeover tropes all in one film.
That underrated movie is “Drive Me Crazy,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary today, after releasing in theaters on Oct. 1, 1999.
International Business Times spoke with Schultz and producer Amy Robinson, along with star Susan May Pratt (Alicia), about just that, as well as how they chose The Donnas as the film’s featured band, their favorite memories from filming in Utah and how Britney Spears’ involvement, which didn’t arrive until after the movie finished shooting, came about.
full article is here but below is the Britney part.
The movie attached itself to the punk-rock scene by having The Donnas throughout the film, but then it found itself jumping into a whole other genre in the music world when Britney Spears got in the mix.
The pop star had just released her debut album, “...Baby One More Time,” less than a year before the release of “Drive Me Crazy,” and her star power was rising quickly, making the then-17-year-old a perfect fit for the teen movie, since she wouldn’t be starring in her own flick until three years later with “Crossroads.”
Originally titled “Next to You,” from Schultz’s suggestion based on a song by The Police, throughout the entirety of filming, the movie was later renamed “Drive Me Crazy” once the studio realized they could get a remix of the similarly-titled Spears song, “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” for the soundtrack.
“I had to go to New York and meet Britney. Here I am again meeting a 19-year-old girl. But she was — I felt bad for her because she was right in the throws of blowing up, and I was there at some MTV Live thing,” Schultz said, “and you could tell her entire day was meeting people, like me, that she didn’t really care [about]. I just thought, ‘That poor girl.’
“I said hi to her, and she said hi to me, and so I talked to her for a few minutes, and she was fine for that little bit. It’s just strange to see someone who’s just kind of starting, and she’s knowing she’s getting huge, and all the pressures and everything they’re putting on her. And then somehow the movie went from being a movie with The Electrocutes and The Donnas in it to a Britney Spears vehicle, which is interesting.”
Originally, both Schultz and Robinson weren’t too thrilled about the partnership, but when they went to see Spears film the music video for her song on the soundtrack, the “Stop Remix!” version of “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” which featured cameos from both Hart and Grenier, they started to see how her rising fame could help the movie.
“It was a lot of fun, and we said to each other, ‘Hey, she’s such a big star now, why don’t we just have them put the video on the back of the movie, and then everybody will have to stay through the whole movie and watch the video,’” Robinson said. “So, we sort of went over to the dark side in commercialdom.”
They asked studio head Rothman about the idea, but he shut it down, and Robinson now realizes it might’ve “been a little bit crass” had they actually gone through with it, although the movie might’ve “made a lot more money.”
Still, the Spears song was on the movie’s soundtrack, Hart and Grenier were in the music video and Spears’ cameo episode of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” premiered just one week before “Drive Me Crazy” came out, acting as the perfect lead-up to the movie’s release.