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Distributed By: Hulu

Reviewed By: Melissa Minners

              The week was a rough one and all I wanted to do was laugh.  I needed a fun comedy to break the stressful mood.  Searching for something on Hulu, I stumbled upon a new film that seemed to be just what I needed a romantic comedy called Crush.

              Teenager Paige Evans (Rowan Blanchard) is an artist, hoping to get into a summer program at CalArts.  Unfortunately, she is struggling with the application prompt requesting artwork that describes her happiest moment.  Paige thinks about various topics, like when she came out to her understanding and forward thinking mother (Megan Mullally) and times with her best friend Dillon (Tyler Alvarez), but all she keeps coming back to is the unrequited love she feels for her crush Gabriela Campos (Isabella Ferreira).  She decides that she needs to devise a way to get close to Gabriela and that could jumpstart her happiest moment. 

              Meanwhile, KingPun, an anonymous artist tagging up all over Paige’s high school with pun-based graffiti, has stepped up their game.  Coach Murray (Aasif Mandvi) thinks Paige is KingPun and he brings her to the principal’s office to receive her punishment.  Suspension would ruin her chance at CalArts, so Paige makes a bargain.  She’ll join the track team, so she can be under the constant supervision of Coach Murray, while she does her research to discover the identity of KingPun and proves her innocence.  An added plus is that Gabriella is on the team.

              This would be a great idea if Paige had any athletic ability whatsoever.  Coach Murray chooses AJ Campos (Auli’i Cravahlho) to train Paige on how to run the 4×1000 relay race.  AJ is Gabriela’s sister and, while that could be useful in getting Paige closer to her crush, the more time she spends with AJ the less she finds herself crushing on Gabriela.  Just when Paige figures everything out, things in her world come crashing down.  Can Paige find a way to fix the mess she created, or will she lose out on the relationship she had been hoping for all along?

              Crush is quite a refreshing look at LGBTQ romance.  This is not a coming out story, an angst-driven tale that has been done over and over again.  Instead, Crush focuses on the idea of the first kiss, that first realization that you really like someone.  It took me back to my high school days and the shyness, angst, secret longings, and more.  Yes, Crush is rather predictable, but when I was watching it, I truly didn’t care.  The movie made me laugh with the over-the-top antics of Megan Mullally, the pun-art of KingPun, the mishaps that befall Paige as she searches for the identity of KingPun while chasing her crush. 

              Crush is a film most people will be able to relate to, what with all the high school teenage angst associated with crushes and hopes for the future.  I found it to be a refreshing teen romantic comedy and would happily watch it again.


Published by Melissa Minners

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