Crush review – customary and predictable

By Marc Miller
Published: April 28, 2022 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
Hulu film Crush


Hulu’s Crush is a cute but customary and predictable rom-com.

This review of the Hulu film Crush does not contain spoilers.

Streaming platforms like Hulu have recently been the leader in churning out young adult romantic comedies. They are mindless cardboard cutouts that never improve on themselves. Yes, Crush has a refreshing willingness to have all their teen characters be socially acceptable and developed. There isn’t a bit of teenage angst or self-confidence issues among them. The problem is it’s a script you have seen thousands of times before. A customary film experience that is utterly predictable.

You have Paige (Snowpiercer’s Rowan Blanchard), a teenage artist who stumbles into a love triangle between her lifelong crush, Gabby (Isabella Ferreria), and her twin sister, AJ (Auli’i Cravalho). But first, she is in danger of being kicked out of school, which puts getting into a prestigious art program a long shot at best. Why? Because she is fingered as the infamous graffiti artist/protester King Pun, a high school Banksie. Yet, she avoids suspension if she joins the track team by making a deal with the principal (Moonshot‘s Michelle Buteau) and Coach Murray (Aasif Mandvi). She will join the track team and, in a few weeks, solve the mystery of who is the real King Pun.

Written by Kirsten King and Casey Rackham and directed by Sammi Cohen (Foursome), Crush combines a ridiculous plot with yawn-inducing storytelling. For one, Paige being suspended for something without any evidence is just lazy. The second is a teenager striking a deal to join a track team even though she displays no athletic ability. This includes an assignment to solve the crime as the school hires her as a private eye. It even had me saying out loud, “Yeah, that’s how life works.” Couldn’t the writers find something more sincere or funny to set up this inane plot? Speaking of the split, there is no intrigue or suspense since it’s apparent twenty minutes into the movie who Paige will choose. It’s equally as obvious who Paige will fall for as is who King Pun is.

Don’t get me wrong. Crush has its charms. Like Megan Mullally playing Paige’s ever-supportive, sexually liberated mother. Her strong flirtations, and Mandvi’s charmless approach, have their moments. At the very least, King and Rackham create a supportive and LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere. There is a predictable rite of passage with a session of seven minutes of heaven. This then includes every type of couple imaginable, which is refreshing. With such a supportive atmosphere, Cohen imagines a world where teenagers are so confident with their own psychosocial identity everyone is allowed to enjoy life on their terms. Which is the way it should be.

That may be a fantasy, and Crush has plenty of cute moments, but this is the same old rom-com in updated packaging despite the allure. This is strictly comfort food for fans of the genre.

What did you think of the Hulu film Crush? Comment below!

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