Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CRUSH


CRUSH (2002/British). Director/screenwriter: John McKay.

Andie MacDowell is a headmistress in a small town who is friends with two women (Imelda Staunton and Anna Chancellor) who are appalled when she takes up with a young hunk who plays the organ at her church. [This leads to many jokes about his “organs” and a lot of out-in-public sex scenes.] The two go to almost pathological attempts to break them up and then tragedy strikes. We're supposed to believe that a headmistress, sober, will have sex in a park with this guy with hardly any prelude, but this movie is hardly about romance. Even when MacDowell comes to the conclusion that she loves the guy, she flashes back not to a tender moment between the two but to one of their sexual encounters, making it clear exactly what it is that exists between the two. The movie feigns sophistication, but it remains on a sitcom level, never penetrating below the surface in its situations and characterizations, despite an occasional nice touch [MacDowell collapsing on the grass as a crowd gathers]. A potentially strong story is completely undermined by the limitations of John McKay as a writer. The movie tries to be hip by involving one of the women in an affair with another woman, but then shows its true colors when said woman insists that she's basically straight and – heavens, no! -- not a lesbian. A really hip movie would have made her gay – throughout the picture she seems obsessed with MacDowell, for instance -- and been done with it. In true sitcom style the film resolves conflicts in a pat style: the humiliated, jilted suitor of MacDowell's just happens to marry another woman we've never even seen before to give his part of the story a fake happy ending. There are good moments and some nice acting, but this is mostly a bad, unmemorable parody of the “women's pictures” of the forties.

Verdict: Watch I Love Lucy instead. **.

1 comment:

Emma said...

From your review this movie is seeming interesting. The storyline is so appealing that I am eager to watch this movie. I will surely rent a DVD to watch this one on this weekend. Thanks for this nice review.
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