An art student (Girl Meets World’s Rowan Blanchard) is accused of vandalizing her school. As punishment she’s forced to join the track team. There she meets two sisters: extroverted Isabella Ferreira (Love, Victor) and introverted Auli’i Cravalho (Moana). Who will Blanchard romance? Is one of them the vandal? Can they win the track meet? Crush doesn’t care about the plot. It’s a flimsy excuse for a charismatic cast to banter and flirt.
Blanchard tells us that Ferreira is the popular, successful sister while Cravalho is the neglected, brooding sister. We don’t see much evidence of this. Their interactions with her feel too similar. Once they’re jogging in identical track uniforms it’s unclear how Blanchard will pick one over another. Romcom convention tells us that her first choice won’t be her last. The plot mechanics that get her there feel hackneyed.
Their utopian school is free of homophobia. Yet Blanchard rarely interacts with the openly queer students. She spends her time with straight people (clownish Tyler Alvarez, confident Teala Dunn and an underused Megan Mullally). On one hand I’d have liked some platonic queer friendships. On the other, it was amusing to see straight characters fulfill “sassy gay friend” duties.
The straight couples hook up. The queer romance is chaste. This makes Crush more risqué than Better Nate Than Ever or Heartstopper. But tamer than Love, Victor or Three Months. I wish these YA works had sharper writing. But I’m glad we’re getting queer media for all ages. Crush wants to be comfort food. It succeeds.
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