Friday, May 6, 2022

Crush (2022)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Crush (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 1h 33min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Animal Pictures, 3 Arts Entertainment, American High, Depth of Field, LD Entertainment, Disney+, Hulu
Director: Sammi Cohen
Writer: Kirsten King, Casey Rackham
Actors: Rowan Blanchard, Auli’i Cravalho, Isabella Ferreira, Tyler Alvarez, Teala Dunn, Rico Paris, Aasif Mandvi, Michelle Buteau, Megan Mullally, Addie Weyrich, Jes Tom, Addyson Tabankin, Ty DeMoya, Zoe Gandolfo, Samsara Leela Yett
Blurb from IMDb: An aspiring young artist joins her high school track team and later discovers what real love feels like when she finds herself falling for an unexpected teammate.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I saw the rating for Crush, I was concerned. The MPAA has this absolutely obnoxious habit of rating projects R or MA whenever there’s a queer storyline. I have, several times, noted my frustration about that bullshit. I’ve seen too many film that should have been PG-13 cross my screen with ratings preventing teens from seeing them. Teens that would have benefited from seeing themselves in a homosexual lead role.
I prepared myself for some serious annoyance.
Luckily, I was wrong. The rating was well-earned.
There’s a dental dam scene in the beginning that immediately made me think things were going to go in a much more mature direction. As the film went on and there were several inferences to sex, tons of innuendo, drug use, and over-drinking – I found myself agreeing with the TV-MA rating.
I will say that I believe it would still be ok for a mature 16/17-year-old to watch, though it might have to come equipped with some discussion over drinking and drug use. Nothing about the sex was overly graphic.
That said, teen movies have certainly changed since I was a kid.

I don’t know what high school is like these days, but if it’s like this film – I’m here for it. Crush showed a complete acceptance of personal identity and a lack of the mean girls/bully trope. Honestly, it gave me hope for my daughter’s generation.
I was impressed by the story on it own, and how it related to the world it portrayed. I was especially happy with the LGBTQ+ plot that had nothing at all to do with coming out. In my opinion, there’s not enough of that. In fact, the story would have been almost exactly the same if the characters in it had been straight. Maybe things would have been said a little differently here and there, but otherwise it would have been identical. Movies should do a whole lot more of this: normalize all different identities.
Going into it, I knew people like Megan Mullally (Will & Grace, The Disaster Artist, Bob’s Burgers), Michelle Buteau (Always Be My Maybe, Happiest Season, The Tick), Aasif Mandvi (Evil, Blue Bloods, The Dictator), and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana, Acting for a Cause, All Together Now) would make things fun to watch, but I’ll admit that I didn’t go into this as the biggest fan of Rowan Blanchard (Girl Meets World, A World Away, The Goldbergs). Her performance in Crush altered the way I see her, though.
I’m going to go ahead and assume that this was a part that Blanchard was passionate about, because she BECAME Paige. There were scenes when her expressions were so believable that it was impossible to not feel a connection to her. I will know to expect more from her in the future.
Crush really elevated itself above other teen rom-coms of the same era. I think it’s worth a watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 87%
Metascore – 56%
Metacritic User Score – 5.6
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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