by Eric D. Snider
Released: June 28, 2002
"Crush" is a women's movie, yet was written and directed by a man, John McKay. One wonders if this is what he REALLY thinks women are like when men aren't around -- crass, vulgar and low. One wonders, in fact, if this IS what women are like when men aren't around. If it is, I'd rather not know it, and curse John McKay for making me face it!
Actually, curse him for any number of things, starting with the script, which wants to be "Sex and the City" but forgot to include any smart humor or amusing insights. It got the sex part, though. Three single women -- two native Brits and one Yankee -- amuse themselves by swapping stories to see who is the sorriest loser of the bunch, and they speak as crassly and bluntly as possible. It's not the funny kind of vulgar, though; it's just the vulgar kind.
The American, Kate (Andie MacDowell), is headmistress at a Catholic school and wants badly to have a baby. Janine (Imelda Staunton) is a local police officer. Molly (Anna Chancellor) is a doctor. Other than that, we know little about Janine and Molly except that they're gossip-mongers, and that they don't approve of Kate's young new boyfriend, the smoldering Jed (Kenny Doughty).
Where the film goes most wrong is in its poorly drawn, uninteresting characters. The actresses seem capable enough, but none seems committed to bringing these stock figures to life.
We also must take issue with the slapdash approach to comedy. Odd events are forced to happen just to get a laugh, like Kate calling Janine on her cellphone in the middle of a SWAT team raid -- and Janine taking the call. And then there's the sudden change of tone later in the film, too abrupt to be regarded with anything other than raised eyebrows and confused looks. You try too hard, movie, and you accomplish so little.
Rated R, some harsh profanity, a lot of strong sexuality, some partial nudity
1 hr., 52 min.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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