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The Crush (1993)

Written and Directed by Alan Shapiro

   The movie opens up to Nick, (Cary Elwes) searching for a place to rent while almost running over 14 year old Adrienne (17 year old Alicia Silverstone) who was skating in the street. Though before I continue I will have to state that her name is spelled differently on the web, the DVD and also has an alternate name that they had to dub in select versions of the film. Shapiro stated having gotten the idea for the script when a similar situation occurred to him but had kept the same name, which the other party naturally found upsetting so they agreed to change it without ever really ensuring it was consistent. Moving on. Adrienne briefly has her friend Cheyenne (Amber Benson) spy on her new neighbor who conveniently, found a new place in her parents guest house.

The next morning Nick arrives late to work testing his new boss’s patience but gets an assignment that he states numerous reporters had already tried obtaining. Concerning Robert Levansky who was recently released from prison having embezzled 2 million dollars with an even higher amount still missing. Getting a brief lead from Levansky’s chauffeur and taking time to write in his new place, Nick gets a visit from Adrienne whose heavy flirting and coy mannerisms have begun to peak Nick’s interest. Offering admission to her parent’s party that was coming up she takes it upon herself to help him with his most recent assignment; editing the paper which got him the front page. Sparking a curiosity as to her “many talents” and good looks to match. Getting lost in the moment later at her parents and sharing a kiss (tsk tsk) which he remedies by spying on her later while tanning. Deciding to send a message, he begins bringing a photographer around that he’s worked with prior, Amy, (Jennifer Rubin) to show how “not” interested he was.

At a BBQ later thrown Adrienne bumps into Amy as she’s picking up sticks to roast marshmallows on, sending weird vibes of which she informs Nick of later. Adrienne also informing Amy (being within the vicinity of a wasp nest) of their capable cruel nature; foreshadowing of what’s to later come. Chalking it up being nothing more than childish notions Nick finds himself snooping around the main house, more specifically Adrienne’s room when he hears noises not too far away. Realizing he was in the house and flaunting her body, he hides in the closet deciding to later confront Adrienne. Saying that while she may think whatever she liked, the fact being he was too old for her and that nothing was going on between them.

We begin to see Adrienne’s infatuation with Nick take a turn as she begins to ensure no one will get in the way of her new found love. First fixing the harness on Cheyenne’s horse to make her fall, followed by erasing everything on Nick’s floppy disk, (remember those?) containing all of his work. Lastly, locking Amy inside her dark room which she filled with wasp after finding out she had spent the night prior with her Nicholas. Returning home one evening he finds cops surrounding the property arresting him on sight for sexual assault of which he is questioned at the station with Adrienne going to extreme lengths for authenticity. Nick pleads his case but is told to retrieve his items and stay 100 feet away from the property at all times. Which gets interrupted when trying to reclaim his belongings as Cheyenne surprises him and explains she knew of a journal that might be able to assist his case. Undoubtedly showing her crazy behavior and fascination for him.

  Final thoughts:  You know the big problem I had with the film? That the girl was freakin’ 14, I’m sorry but no. There’s a lot of movies like this that have crossed the ages: Swimfan (coming up next review), Fatal Attraction, The Hand that rocks the Cradle etc showing mania and love straddling a thin enough line but you never want to cross the line too far and involving a 14 year old was it for me. Even if you had changed the age to 17 as Silverstone was I more than likely would have been just as displeased with it. I also had the version of the film that was dubbed which made it completely dreadful anytime another actor had to say her name, which was often. If this was in fact inspired from actual events it seemed more so of Shapiro making a case for himself and how he was simply a poor innocent victim and everything was completely out of his hands. Well, I don’t buy it and you shouldn’t have been in the situation, even just a little. Besides all of that though, Elwes and Silverstone were good casts for the specific roles. I enjoy Cary in any role I get to catch him in and small as they may be at times. This was also Silverstone’s first role, playing the pseudo annoying teenager who didn’t take no for an answer. Certainly being beautiful herself and able to pull of the crazy part fairly well.

Adrienne’s father Cliff (Kurtwood Smith) had a majority of dialogue devoted to explaining the very random carousel that was in the attic. Which had been intended as a play area for when his daughter was younger. While it was  later used in the end sequence it was weakly tied together in even existing within the movie. Nick finally ends everything with a completely dramatic punch sending Adrienne flying, no really, flying across the attic. Ending up in a mental ward where they’re kind enough to send out the psychotic letters she continues to write Nick. Also seeming to have found a new target; her psychiatrist. A bit too dramatic for my taste with feeling no sympathy for a man who involved himself in any way with a child. But at least it’s worth a watch if favoring either of the main Actors.