Crush (Movie Review)

A crush is a feeling you have when you see someone you like. It is similar to love but it’s not as strong and it’s usually a one-sided thing. You want them to like you back but they don’t always reciprocate the feelings. A crush is a temporary thing and it can change on a weekly basis.

It’s a trite but true axiom that teenagers are engulfed by overactive hormones and head-over-heels sexual infatuation, yet they also possess the sort of blunt self-awareness and selective maturity that keep them from getting into too much trouble. Writer and director Sammi Cohen (Hollywood Darlings) captures this dichotomy with Crush, a sweet and funny coming-of-age story about a young woman who finds herself in the throes of her own crush.

The film stars Rowan Blanchard (The Goldbergs) as Paige, an aspiring artist who develops a crush on her track teammate. Her unrequited passion for him prompts her to become a reluctant member of the team, a move that creates more complications than she anticipated. Cohen helms from a script by Kirsten King and Casey Rackham.

This movie is an adorable and refreshing take on teen romance. It doesn’t shy away from the casual sex, recreational drug use, and ubiquitous social media that make up the daily lives of most real-world teens. Instead, it takes a more tame but no less sweet approach that allows the film to ring true and feel authentic.

The movie is very enjoyable and I liked how it showed how a teenage crush can affect your life. I thought it was well written and I enjoyed the performances from all of the actors. I definitely recommend this movie.

Larissa Pham is an author, essayist, and critic based in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Bookforum, and Guernica. She is a 2017 Yi Dae Up Fellow at Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat and teaches creative writing at Kundiman, the New School, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

Crush is a trite but entertaining high school romance and coming-of-age story that sets its stakes at a shockingly low bar. Its delightful young cast carries the movie with brisk, profanity-laden banter, and Megan Mullally proves she can still be every bit as hilarious as she was on Will & Grace as Paige’s over-sharing and eternally-supportive mother. Auli’i Cravalho is the standout among the leads, but she is only allowed to demonstrate a hint of her inherent charisma and allure. She and Blanchard generate a palpable sense of chemistry when they share a bed on their school trip, but the rest of the movie might as well be reenacting a student film project.