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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.53%
Worth A Look: 14.71%
Average: 17.65%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap44.12%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Crush, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Non-auspicious debut for Alicia Silverstone."
1 stars

In twenty years -- if anyone cares by then -- some film scholar with nothing better to do will dissect the movie-thriller trend of the early '90s: the psycho-bitch genre. The scholar might build his or her thesis around the idea that such movies are made, and are popular, because of men's bizarre fear of women.

But what, exactly, do men have to fear from teenage girls? In The Crush, an unusually stupid and synthetic thriller, a blossoming 14-year-old girl joins the ranks of psycho-bitches. The movie spends most of its time answering my question: Men apparently have a lot to fear from teenage girls.

The hero, Nick Eliot (Cary Elwes, whose American accent comes and goes), is a hot-shot journalist in his late twenties. Looking for a place to stay, Nick rents a nice little guest house owned by a rich couple with a pretty young daughter -- Darian (Alicia Silverstone), who zeroes in on Nick immediately. At first, Nick doesn't think much of Darian's coy advances; she seems like a smart but lonely kid going through a normal crush. Darian, however, turns out to be a wacko. Bright-eyed, she sits in her room creating shrines to Nick. As soon as she spots Nick with his attractive new friend Amy (Jennifer Rubin), the camera moves in on Darian's eyeballs, and you wonder how Amy will get it -- a runaway truck? A chainsaw? A flamethrower?

Writer-director Alan Shapiro, a TV veteran making his feature-film debut, keeps the audience in Nick's corner by making Darian so diabolical that the hapless Nick can't prove she's doing anything. With supreme impunity, Darian scratches his car, sabotages his computer disks, disables a mild-tempered, frightened girl who tries to warn Nick. No one will believe Nick: That sweet little girl couldn't do that. Eventually, after Nick has told her she's pathetic and he wants nothing more to do with her, she frames him for sexual assault. How? By picking one of his used condoms out of the trash and placing his semen inside her. Now, you could take offense at this ridiculous development, but the movie leaves you too dumbstruck to respond in any logical way, such as walking out.

The Crush might have worked if we felt anything for Darian -- if we were allowed to see Nick through her eyes. But the movie isn't interested in much else besides paranoia. Shapiro, who says he based the script on his own experiences, has no sympathy for Darian; this sad girl with mental problems is treated like a monster, just like Glenn Close before her. (And the unskilled Alicia Silverstone leans entirely too much on cold sneers and portentous stares, as if she were Damien Thorn's little sister.) At several points, the director also eroticizes Darian's ripe 14-year-old body (Silverstone is actually 15), letting the camera loiter on her navel or her ass; suddenly, we're watching softcore child pornography. The forbidden fruit between her legs leads grown men to their doom. Camille Paglia must already be devoting a chapter of her next book to Darian.

A film as inept as The Crush should at least have some camp value, but I couldn't work up much enthusiasm for the scene in which Darian unleashes a swarm of wasps on Nick's girlfriend. Nor was I moved by the merry-go-round finale, in which the audience applauded when Nick hauls off and punches Darian with such force that she flies across the room (she's half his age and a foot shorter!). We're cued to cheer as this disturbed kid gets her lumps; The Crush is the movie that child abusers have been waiting for.

*If you've made the mistake of seeing this movie on television or home video, you may be thinking, "Darian? Her name is Adrian, dummy." Well, yeah, it is now. But in the version originally shown in theaters, her name was indeed Darian. Apparently there is or was a real Darian, upon whom the Alicia Silverstone character was based, and her family got the studio to change the character's name on the TV and home-video versions. So if you actually paid to see this in a theater in 1993, you are among the lucky few to have heard the character's original name before it got dubbed over with "Adrian." Y'know, in case you cared or anything.

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originally posted: 01/27/07 09:00:14
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User Comments

6/08/21 SamG I thought it was really good 5 stars
12/27/09 art THE crush PALES IN COMPARISON to the MUCH BETTER SWIMFAN from 2002 1 stars
5/30/09 art it's a prototype for SWIMFAN. 3 stars
11/14/08 Harlan Milleret Best Alicia Silverstone movie ever. It's a total must see if you are a huge fan of hers!! 5 stars
6/28/08 Danny A guilty pleasure of mine as Elwes was at his hottest! Alicia's performance good. 4 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini Alicia looks hot in this movie! 4 stars
9/02/05 ES Not too bad, has a bit of thrill 3 stars
3/12/05 Petter I consider this movie very good thanks to simply stunning performance of Alicia S. 5 stars
3/09/05 deedar nice 5 stars
5/08/04 Robin Roberts ok 5 stars
12/13/03 Ryan Burgos My favorite movie of all time! IT ROCKS!!! 5 stars
9/11/03 filmfatale I don't remember it being this bad! 3 stars
9/09/03 Oompah Loompah Why did Silverstone get momentarily famous again? 3 stars
9/05/03 MNR FANTASTIC 4 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Atrocious "Fatal Attraction" wannabe. Predictable script and second-rate perfs don't help. 1 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean Elwes is hot as hell in this done-over plot of a movie with a very convincing Silverstone. 3 stars
3/20/02 Spanky McFarland An absolute classic of camp, this is Alicia Silverstone's debut and greatest role. 5 stars
1/05/02 Skyler Peterson Simply Outstanding - But where can I find the full version which includes extra parts??? 5 stars
6/10/01 Serial_Monk_the_Jawbreaker Remember that episode of JENNY McCARTHY where she had a shrine of the mailboy? 3 stars
3/10/01 Stephenbooth_uk Overall crap but Amber Benson is wonderful 4 stars
6/25/99 David Keech For Alicia Silverstone fans, this is a must-see. Demented and sometimes bad script though. 4 stars
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  02-Jul-1993 (R)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004

  02-Feb-1994 (15)

  02-Feb-1994 (M)

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