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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Crush (2002)

"People want to cry, I just help them."
- Jed (Kenny Doughty)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: January 19, 2003

Stars: Andie McDowell
Other Stars: Kenny Doughty, Imelda Staunton, Anna Chancellor
Director: John McKay

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexuality
Run Time: 01h:51m:47s
Release Date: August 27, 2002
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ C+B+B C+

DVD Review

I am blessed in my life to have friends with whom I can share anything, and to whom I have a lasting connection that will likely never break. My friends have seen me at my best, and also my worst, and yet they stay by my side through tragedy and triumph and for this I am forever in awe. The trio of ladies in John McKay's at times delightful Crush share the same sort of bond, and by doing so create one of the more memorable group of friends I have seen on film in recent memory. The shame of this, though, is that the script fails to maintain what worked so well with the group simply sharing stories about their lives and offers tragedy in the place of normalcy and in turn, takes the film down a road that it should not travel.

Crush affords a look at the lives of Kate (McDowell), an American schoolmarm in rural England, Molly (Chancellor) a physician, and Janine (Staunton) a policewoman, as they share their Sundays together discussing their lives, both romantic and otherwise. When Kate meets Jed (Doughty), a former student of hers who is nearly twenty years her junior, Janine and Molly begin to plot ways to keep Kate from falling in love for the simple reason that they want her to be as miserable as they are.

This film has been compared numerous times to Four Weddings and a Funeral in that each film follows a line of love with tragedy and visa versa, though putting Crush in the same league as Funeral is a tragedy in itself. Funeral took the view through each emotion separately and drew its lines to a point where each character was created individually and received the same level of attention in terms of development; here, the opposite occurs. McKay fails to keep the three women at a consistent level in their personalities, making it difficult to find sympathy for those who do wrong, a mistake that is brought to the forefront when tragedy strikes and the viewer doesn't really care for the victim.

At the outset, McKay's script has a sort of unbridled charm that makes the viewer care for each of the three ladies, but soon the film turns into a soap opera style farce that feels out of place with the previous goings on of the script. The opening sequences have such a light air to them that I would have been content watching a film in which the three women simply sat around and discussed their lives. McKay misses a golden opportunity in that he wrongly shifts the focus of the film to a character that doesn't really deserve it.

The performances are terrific, with McDowell crafting perhaps her best performance in years. Chancellor steals the film as the sarcastic Molly, while Staunton does a fine job as the poorly written Janine.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer looks fine given the setting of the film, the drab English countryside, though there are a few problem spots. Colors are nicely done with only a few instances where they appear to be more muted than they should be, though the bright yellow of Kate's bathrobe looks positively terrific. Sharpness and detail are each fine, though there are several moments where a large amount of grain can be seen on the print.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is as average as they come. The center channel is pretty much the only speaker that gets any action. Dialogue is clear and mixed nicely, though I had to turn the volume up several times just to hear the film.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Last Orders, Thirteen Conersations About One Thin, Sunshine State
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Trailers for Crush, the far superior Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Last Orders, and Sunshine State are offered. While a short, six-minute featurette is also available for viewing, though it is largely promotional.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

There are moments in Crush where the film shines with promise, though these are few and far between. The transfer is first rate though, which makes this an ideal rental recommendation for a rainy Sunday.

 


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