Teen romance has language, sex, drinking, drugs.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the teen romantic comedy Crush portrays teens as actively engaged in sex, questions of sexuality, and partying. There's also a lot of language, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "sucks," "penis," "puss," "ass," "boobs," and "rack," as well as references to condoms, birth control, 69, sperm donors, fingering, tampons, menstruation, and "special movies" (likely porn). The main love story involves three women, and the diverse cast of characters is open and welcoming of different ethnicities, sexual identities, and pronouns. Couples kiss; one couple is in bed together and is constantly kissing. The main character's mom pushes sex toys, vibrators, dental dams, and "sexual positivity" on her gay daughter. She also flirts with the school coach with lots of sexual innuendoes. Teens play a game where couples are sent to the bathroom alone and expected (though not forced) to make out. They also smoke weed, vape, and drink heavily at high school parties.
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What's the Story?
In CRUSH, Paige (Rowan Blanchard) is a gay high schooler who has yet to experience her first kiss. Love could make good material for an art project she's struggling with as part of her application to a prestigious pre-college summer program. She's had a lifelong crush on classmate Gabriela (Isabella Ferreira), who seems too popular for her. When Paige finds out that Gabriela is on the track team, which her best buddies Dillon (Tyler Alvarez) and Stacey (Teala Dunn) are trying out for, she decides to sign up. She's paired instead with Gabriela's twin sister, AJ (Auli'i Cravalho), and the two develop a mutual attraction. Now Paige is stuck between the sisters, and meanwhile, the school administration is coming down on her for a series of graffiti murals she swears she didn't paint.
Is It Any Good?
This is a well-intentioned movie with some solid actors and a refreshingly diverse cast who deserved fleshier characters and a more rounded story. The likable actors make Crush watchable, but the film's world feels largely superficial. It also seems like anything goes at their high school. Partying and sex are promoted by parents, and the characters drink and smoke with surprisingly little reflection -- in contrast to how minutely attuned they are to questions of their own and each other's sexual identity. Paige's homosexuality is her dominant character trait for the first chunk of the movie. When she begins to really connect with AJ, the film gets a bit deeper.
For the adults, unfortunately, the film barely scratches the surface, despite a trio of talented comedic actors. The cynical school coach is hilariously played by Aasif Mandvi, and Michelle Buteau deserved a bigger role as principal. But Will & Grace's Megan Mullally is strapped with a mom character who is meant to be hipper than her daughter, but who comes across as pandering (outside of one meaningful advice scene). There are plenty of better films and series out there tackling same-sex teen romance, from Love, Simon and Love, Victor to Sex Education and Heartstopper.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Crush portrays teen romance. Does it feel realistic? Why, or why not?
What did you think of how the film portrayed teenagers' consumption of alcohol and marijuana? Were there consequences?
How did the film visually depict what Paige sees when she feels love or attraction?
- On DVD or streaming: April 29, 2022
- Cast: Rowan Blanchard, Auli'i Cravalho, Isabella Ferreira
- Director: Sammi Cohen
- Studio: Hulu
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: July 7, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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All Together Now
Book-based teen drama uplifts despite sad scenes.
Will & Grace
Fun show about a strong friendship; rude jokes, sex, pills.
For kids who love LGBTQ+ stories
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate