Projections - Movie Reviews



Andie MacDowell couldn't entice adult moviegoers with Harrison's Flowers, and it looks unlikely that she can elevate John McKay's Crush, which is split between comedy and melodrama.

The initial comradery of forty-ish women in the English Cotswolds village and countryside has an allure from MacDowell and fellow actresses Anna Chancellor and Imelda Stauton, both English.  Yet, this tale of an older women with a younger guy is crushed with conspiring shamelessness from McKay's promising, but unappealing screenplay.

The recollections of best friends smoking and drinking gin are somewhat amusing at the start.  MacDowell's Kate is the unmarried American headmistress at a private school who is first seen expelling a student for smoking.  Chancellor's doctor Molly has gone through men almost as unsuccessfully as Elizabeth Taylor and Staunton's Janine, a police inspector, has to deal with a childish son as a colleague.

Crush gets somewhat interesting and risque from Kate's relationship with a former student, Jed, a church organist and mechanic, acted with charming ardor by Kenny Doughty.  Jed is nearly half her age and Kate can't keep this infatuation from blossoming into an erotic courtship.  But Crush soon plots, lethally, against itself.  The result will leave one wondering why an accident happened and how three women remain such good friends.

McKay has to smoothly tie things up with an engagement to vicar Gerald (Bill Paterson) as Kate will find solace through a flashback at a cemetery after becoming a new mother.  The music from Kevin Sargent strings out too much sappiness as much of the performances, except for a daring Doughty, are written for surface emotion rather than rich characterization.

A jaunt to Paris to get Kate paired up with someone to get her mind off of Jed is too quick.  Nevertheless, even with bright long shots of the Cotswolds painting a pretty picture around the verdant, mellow setting, Crush is all wrong in the direction this romance takes.


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