There was a time when Alicia Silverstone was America’s favorite bad girl. She could have just been another tempting teenage California blonde that merely teased with innocence. But instead she nurtured a persona that was sweet enough to take to mother and devious enough to take you to Hell. She made the mid-90s so much fun. There she was in Aerosmith videos skipping school, getting tattooed, shooting the bird, visiting strip clubs with Liv Tyler and faking her suicide. But she was no mere video vixen. She was able to bring this double edge charm to the big screen in The Crush.
Nick Eliot (The Princess Bride‘s Cary Elwes) arrives in Seattle ready to keep his writing career in full gear at Pique magazine. Instead of renting an apartment, Nick gets creative and moves into a family’s guest house. What he doesn’t quite consider that Mr. Forrester (That ’70s Show‘s Kurtwood Smith) has a daughter who is a talented 14 year old. Adrienne Forrester (Alicia Silverstone) is one of those exceptional kids who seems older than the number of candles on her birthday cake. She takes a liking to the new tenant. She helps edits his articles to a point where his real editor thinks he’s got talent. She comes off as mature Nick’s office flirt partner, photographer Amy (Jennifer Rubin). Nick really screws up by kissing her one night. She takes it completely the wrong way. Adrienne doesn’t like it when he wants to cool off the relationship. She uses all of her smarts to make Nick’s life a living hell. She messes up his car’s pant job. Amy’s dark room gets surprise visitors. Finally Nick gets a visit from the cops and a furious father. Will he ever escape this teenage girl’s wrath?
There’s so many ways that this film could have completely devolved into a forgettable Lifetime movie. But thankfully The Crush maintains its grip for the entire 89 minutes and pull for over 23 years. Most of this comes from the dynamo of Alicia Silverstone. She is able to pull off the wise beyond her years gifted teen act while still being a teenage girl. On top of that, Alicia can also go into overdrive when Nick tries to act like there wasn’t an attraction between the two. Any girl can lash out with a homicidal rage. But Alicia is able to give that expression that she knows exactly how to make Nick suffer and regret his very existence. Silverstone would easily avoid being typecast as a bad girl with an equally amazing performance in Clueless. But for The Crush, Alicia was just the right shade of alluring wickedness.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out youthful charms of Alicia. The audio is 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mixes. There’s a warning at the start of the Blu-ray: The audio on THE CRUSH has a phasing issue. It can be heard on the previous DVD release as well. We searched for alternate audio but they all had the same issue.” This isn’t too bad if you mix your sound system.
Commentary Track with writer/director Alan Shapiro has Nathaniel Thompson asking the questions. He mentions how he wanted Reece Witherspoon originally. Plus Nick was a writer coming to Hollywood. It’s the little changes that make this a better film. Shapiro came from the TV movie world. He addresses how this was based on his own experience of living in a guest house and the owner’s girl having a crush on him.
The Doting Father (9:59) spends a bit of time with Kurtwood Smith. He liked the suspense thriller element. He was there for the whole time although he could have just been there for a few weeks. He learned how hockey was played while in Canada. He enjoyed working with Alicia.
Stung By Love (13:19) catches up with Jennifer Rubin. Has her discuss going from model to actress. She did well in the independent market during the rise of VHS. She talks about dealing with the swarm in the darkroom in the age before CGI.
Theatrical Trailer (2:03) makes us know that renting a guest house won’t be a great idea for Nick. They included the great making lemonade scene.
TV Spot (0:17) is quick and potent.
Scream Factory presents The Crush. Directed by: Alan Shapiro. Screenplay by: Alan Shapiro. Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Cary Elwes, Kurtwood Smith and Jennifer Rubin. Running Time: 89 minutes. Rated: R. Released: June 21, 2016.
Tags: Alicia Silverstone, Scream Factory, The Crush