If you know me at all, you know three things: 1) If it weren’t for cupcakes, I’d be a size zero, 2) It’s not that I’d leave my fiance for David Tennant; I’d actually set him on fire to get to him and 3) I love the movie The Crush. Like a child, I love it unconditionally, despite it’s disabilities, flaws and problem accents.
The Crush is the tale of The Dread Pirate Westley and his search for the perfect home. He is hired by a big deal famous magazine, despite the firmly hit plot point that he has absolutely no writing skills. His search determined hopeless after only three stops, he decides to board in a rich family’s guest house.
This would be a sweet gig if the family didn’t include the Nabakovian nightmare that is a young Alicia Silverstone.
We very quickly discover that she is a touch oversexed (this becomes an insane understatement as the movie progresses) and she is out to seduce our hero (the word “hero” becomes a gross overstatement as the movie progresses).
Because it comes up throughout the film, it is best to get this out of the way now: Cary Elwes is terrible at hiding his accent. And, hell, I can’t blame him. His accent is lovely. He should not be forced to hide it. But Hollywood keeps insisting, and whether he is telling Ashley Judd why he’s about to murder her, telling Jim Carrey’s son that he’s his new stepdad-to-be or telling Jigsaw that he wants no part in his little game, the man does so extremely Britishy.
As bad as he is in those movies, he’s awful at it in this one.
One thing that becomes abundantly clear is that the tween femme fetale’s first name has obviously been ADRed. This is due to the fact that the writer/director pulled from his own real life trauma in having a hot teenager want all up on his parts (oh, believe me, I’ll get to that) and decided the totally legal thing to do would be to use the real chick’s first name. The movie was released on VHS and cable with the original name – Darian – and re-dubbed for DVD with a new and legal edited name – Adrian.
Cary Elwes cannot say the name “Adrian.” He more typically refers to her as “Eeedrian.”
The sweet teen crush betwixt Westley and Eeedrian starts out all well and good, but turns creepy really quickly. She sneaks in and rewrites his articles, to the joy of his editor who is no doubt horrified to have hired a writer whose work can be so improved by a 14-year-old girl. She lounges by the pool, seductively adjusting her straps for his enjoyment. Of course, the director insists on delicately trailing the camera slowly along her actually-14-year-old body.
She also makes angry lemonade. This is my favorite scene in the movie.
It gets really creepy when Nick (the character’s actual name) starts dating his mush-mouthed co-worker, and Eeedrian attacks her with wasps. When Nick voices his relatively mild disappointment at this, she steals a used condom from his trash, rubs her ladybits with it, beats herself up and cries rape.
No, seriously. That happens.
After ruining his life, she runs away from her parents, who’ve whisked her to post-rape-fake safety and straps her best friend, Cheyenne (Amber Benson, aka, Tara from Buffy) to a terrifying carousel in her attic and tries to murder Nick by morphing into a male stunt double in a wig and pushing him down the stairs.
He survives through the power of his Dwayne Wayne flip-up sunglasses and saves the day. By punching his child tormentor in the face.
The Crush is something I love, but I can see its downfalls. Once you find out the film is based on a true story, it becomes truly lecherous. From the supposed “victim” writer/director’s insistence on showcasing the – again – actual-14-year-old form of Alicia Silverstone to the really convoluted rape faking, it’s basically akin to O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It book. There’s no way this guy wasn’t Humbert Humbert-ing the real-life Darian.
Once you look past the implications of bad touch, the movie is just so fun. Cary Elwes is at his peak of beauty before he aged and bloated (ugh, don’t click here. This is tragic.) and gives it his all. Alicia Silverstone is delightfully evil, a far cry from Cher Horowitz. The supporting cast is pretty good too, including Kurtwood Smith as Eeedrian’s dad, and the familiar-but-I-don’t-know-why girlfriend, whose IMDb page only further intensifies the “I-don’t-know-why” part. If someone knows why she’s familiar, please inform.
The Crush is a super-punch of awesome. It’s not a good movie, but it is fun. And sometimes, that’s all I need. I give it five out of five Twinkies.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.