Friday, June 1, 2012

The Crush

You know in 1995, Alicia Silverstone became a pop culture queen starring in Clueless as Cher Horowitz and spawned girls wearing plaid skirts and furry backpacks everywhere. Before that she was video eye candy in a trilogy of Aerosmith videos but in her very first film, The Crush, she became my generation's version of Glenn Close as a deadly teenage Lolita to rival Drew Barrymore's role in Poison Ivy. I saw this film right before I started the seventh grade when it was on Fox as yet another World Premiere Movie and became hooked. Funny that I saw this movie with my mom and dad in the living room and that I actually got away with watching it! Nostalgia aside, let's dig into this film shall we?

What's The Plot?
Handsome writer Nick Eliot has secured a job at Pique Magazine and he needs a new place to stay. He finds lodgings in the guest house of Cliff and Liv Forrester and their 14 year old daughter Adrian. Adrian is a gifted girl who plays piano, takes equestrian lessons and has a love of Emily Bronte and entomology making her a little more sophisticated than other girls her age. She has only one friend Cheyenne because the girls' mothers went to college together so Adrian fixates an attraction on Nick who is fourteen years her senior. To try and win Nick's affections she rewrites one of his articles and then Adrian has Nick escort her to the local make-out spot, unknown to Nick, where she kisses him.

Nick realizes the mistake of leading Adrian on and tries to ignore her advances by beginning a relationship with co-worker Amy Maddik but this seems to only make Adrian's crush become more obsessive. Soon, Nick's belongings start to disappear like a picture of himself as a young boy and then his recently restored classic car becomes defaced. These little incidents don't seem like anything much until Nick's big story for the magazine is erased from his computer and all of his backup files disappear and then things begin to go even worse. When Cheyenne tries to talk to him about Adrian she is injured in a horse riding accident and soon after Amy is attacked by wasps at her private home darkroom.

Nick knows Adrian is behind everything but with no proof against her all he can do is try to find a new place of residence. Too bad Nick doesn't realize that whatever Adrian wants, she gets and she is only just beginning to make his life miserable. Can Nick convince everyone that Adrian is crazy before her crush ends up killing him?

Another great instance of when I could divulge the entire plot of The Crush to you but as you should know by now...I won't. This film is such a great one that I think it should of course be viewed by you to develop your own opinion of whether or not it is as good as I say it is.

What Else Can I Tell You?
Again as stated, The Crush was Alicia Silverstone's theatrical film debut and she came out swinging in this role! She was 15 when she did the film and she became emancipated from her parents to work the hours that she couldn't have otherwise. She won an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and one for Breakthrough Performance with her role as Adrian Forrester. (Interesting fact: Forrester sounds a lot like Forrest which is the last name of Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction who shares many similarities with Silverstone's character in The Crush!)

Cary Elwes is one of my favorite actors and I love him as Nick Eliot! He tries to hide that English accent but he can't and his portrayal as the dogged object of obsession makes him even more endearing. Fangirl love aside, Elwes is a great actor and he does have a small amount of chemistry with Silverstone but not in a squicky kind of way - a man of morals and a gentleman who ends up having to be a dick to get his point across but is still innocent in the scheme of things. Kurtwood Smith who plays Cliff Forrester is known to many as Red from That 70's Show and again he plays a father figure here but the kind of dad you don't want to be messing with his little girl! Red threatens to kick your ass but Cliff Forrester will kill you or castrate you if you lay a hand on his daughter and Kurtwood Smith as an actor is not somebody you want to mess with!

Jennifer Rubin as Amy is okay with her dark model looks and her snarky personality but I think she is just thrown in as a love interest for Nick to step up Adrian's psychotic little games. What better way to make a woman crazier than to have another woman stealing the object of her affections but this is much different than Fatal Attraction where Michael Douglas' character is married or even Swimfan where Jesse Bradford's character has been dating his girlfriend for a much longer period of time. No offense to Jennifer Rubin or writer/director Alan Shapiro but the character of Amy has a lot of unneeded screen time. The only other actor of note is Amber Benson as Cheyenne.  This was also her first film role and even though she has little screen time the actress who would one day be Tara on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and future comic book writer does a good job being the only friend to a troubled and sick girl and the only one besides Nick to see that she is not as sweet as she acts.

Before we go did I forget to mention that writer/director Alan Shapiro wrote The Crush supposedly based on true events that happened to him? Yeah, he even named the character after a real girl named Darien Forrester and when she found out she sued him! Thanks to that they had to go back and re-dub all instances of the name Darien with Adrien by different actors. His only other theatrical film he directed was the movie of Flipper - you know the one with Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan and a dolphin! Sometimes it's best I guess to not write what you know...or at least change names before the film is complete!

On a more serious note to end this blog post, if you have not seen The Crush you should give this movie a viewing if you get the chance to find it. Cary Elwes and Alicia Silverstone fans will definitely like this movie and if films like Fatal Attraction and Single White Female are ones you enjoy, The Crush is a must have for your own DVD collection.

Next Blog: Since I am going to go see Snow White & The Huntsman this weekend my next blog is going to be about another very dark version of the fairy tale - Snow White: A Tale Of Terror

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