For those of you that haven’t heard, Crush (which came out on Hulu late last month) is a lgbtq high school romcom about a girl named Paige Evans (Rowan Blanchard) who has a massive crush on unobtainable hot girl named Gabriela (Isabella Ferreira) and along the way falls in love with Gabby’s twin sister, AJ Campos (Auli’i Cravalho).
Paige is an artist who is recruited into joining the track team after she is suspected of vandalizing the school with very well done pun graffiti. She agrees to join the team to avoid suspension and to spend time with her crush, Gabby, who is already on the team. Unfortunately for her, she ends up spending all of her time with AJ, the dark and moody twin who hates Paige in the beginning. That’s right, this is an enemies to lovers love story that was SO well executed.
The movie was so witty, incorporating small elements of lesbian culture in Paige’s quips throughout. It felt a little forced at times, but Paige’s personality was forced, so it still worked.
The star of this movie was most definitely Auli’i Cravalho. She has the gift of comedic timing, and she managed to pull the movie together well. If you’re looking for the return of the high school romcom, this movie truly succeeded at that. It was cute and wholesome and funny and honest in a way that queer people rarely get to see on screen. Plus, it featured 0 coming out storylines, which I think may be a first for a movie that wasn’t just marketed as an indie film for select audiences. I genuinely feel like this movie has the potential to become lesbian canon.
What makes it even better is if you know the off-screen drama that went into the lead up of the movie release.
When it was announced (nearly a year ago) the casting for the movie, Cravalho (who is bi) made a video stating that Blanchard (who is queer) is biphobic. This caused people to dredge up old liked tweets by Blanchard, where she liked things implying that bi women in relationships with men were not really queer. Blanchard replied to the controversy and said that she was not trying to imply this, and that she (who at the time was dating a man) in fact still felt queer and that her relationship was queer, and that’s not what she meant by liking the tweet. I have included the tweet below for you to judge for yourself. Blanchard was a teenager at the time.
I would like to state that I think biphobia is overlooked far too often. On this account, however, fro what I know I’m inclined to feel that Blanchard just thought the tweet was funny and didn’t realize the implications. Also, it’s so rare that we have queer-fronted movies that are actually good that I think lesbians deserve to see their representation despite controversies.
Cravalho then deleted the TikTok and followed Blanchard on social media to promote the film. She posted like everything was good, and people were hoping for an enemies to lovers arc for the pair just like there was in the film.
As of writing this, though, that bubble was burst. Cravalho unfollowed Blanchard on Instagram, igniting the flames of lesbian drama Twitter. It appears that there will be no happy ending for Cravalho and Blanchard, but they gave great performances in “Crush”, and the movie is worth the watch.