| April 10, 2002

If she has been hassling you for months to go see a movie SHE wants to see, then Crush is sufficient enough for the testosterone laden to have a good night at the movies. And ladies… If you didn’t see this one in the theaters, it would be a good rental for “Girls’ Night In.”
Writer-Director John McKay (Wet and Dry and Doom and Gloom – I never heard of them either) must truly be in touch with his feminine side, or has learned that women speak as bawdily about sex and one night stands and relationships as men do. He has written a story of three 40-something women friends (two Brits and an American ex-patriot) who meet every week to drink, smoke and swap romantic sob stories. Their ritual becomes endangered when one of them strikes up an affair with a younger man.
The women are Janine (Imelda Staunton from Rat), the local captain of constables, Molly (Anna Chancellor, who has done mostly English TV) a General Practitioner, and Kate (Andie MacDowell from Town & Country, The Muse and, my favorite, Groundhog Day) the headmistress of the local school. They have been friends for years, know all of each other’s hot buttons and continuously indulge themselves by pushing them.
One day at a funeral, MacDowell feels an instant attraction for Jed, the new church organist (played wonderfully by Kenny Doughty) who, as it turns out, was a student of hers some 10 years earlier. They “hit it off,” in the graveyard outside the church and as one thing leads to another, they fall in love. Janine and especially Molly, have a particularly difficult time with their relationship – to the point of complete jealousy of their friend’s newfound happiness. And it is from this jealousy that Crush takes a horribly tragic turn.
I found it fascinating that though it is regularly shown that older woman – younger man relationships will not work, the relationship between Jed and Kate seemed particularly charming and sweet. I was very sad to see her friends not accepting of Jed, especially since what they were all constantly bemoaning, was their lack of male companionship. What I could not understand, and feel it is a terrible weakness in the film, is that the women were able to get past what seemed to me horribly impossible obstacles, to salvage their friendship and even make it stronger. Sorry, for me this just did not work.
Though many parts of the movie are completely predictable, I found it to be a comforting part of the story and give Crush a positive recommendation. The photography and the scenery are beautiful, and the movie is well paced. Crush is truly a movie for adults. One scene not to be missed is when Jed, at the keyboards of the church organ, gives Kate alesson in how, through the pace and subtle change in style of the music,he can make it easy for people to do the crying they want to experience at a funeral. Yep, they always fall for the musicians.

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