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Sapphic Rom-Com Crush Is Exactly the Balm We Need Right Now

Sapphic Rom-Com Crush Is Exactly the Balm We Need Right Now


Crush is the perfect movie to lift your spirits in between protesting against all the anti-LGBTQ+ bills and laws coming down the pipeline.

When my girlfriend and I sat down to watch Crush, Hulu's new sapphic, teen rom-com starring Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard and Moana's Auli'i Cravalho, we honestly were expecting a light, fun, sugary, popcorn movie. We found that, but also so much more.

Crush tells the classic, high school story of a girl named Paige Evans (Blanchard), a lesbian teen who decides to join her school's track team in order to get closer to her crush, Gabriela (Isabella Ferreira), and find the perfect inspiration for her art project about her "happiest moment."

Along the way, she starts growing closer to AJ (Cravalho), Gabriela's bisexual sister, and eventually develops a crush on her. It's fun, it's got a lot of super cute, queer moments, great humor from the young stars, and terrific tension (possibly inspired by off-camera happenings) between its two leads. Cravalho is the real breakout star of this film, and as such, she should be quickly on her way to becoming a real-life bicon.

While it doesn't quite live up to these movies, Crush is like if Blockers or Booksmart was only about their lesbian characters. But it comes with the bonus of being written and directed by queer women, so it takes things as simple as a baton pass and makes them into essentially a lesbian sex scene.

If you try to enjoy it earnestly (and maybe get a little high), you definitely will. It's very cute and it's very gay, and it'll make you smile, laugh, and sigh while sitting next to your own crush on the couch.

The movie also does something else that, in today's climate, is pretty revolutionary. This is a movie about queer teens who have queer sex, and it's all seen as totally normal and healthy. At one point, the gym teacher character jokes that "60 percent" of the students at the high school are queer. There are even fingering jokes and references to dental dams. Even more importantly, though, is that the movie shows that it's normal for young kids to be queer. Paige first develops her crush on Gabriela when she's a preteen and comes out when she's just as young -- and it's portrayed as completely normal.

Crush lays out the plain truth that it's totally normal for young kids to be gay, and it's totally normal for queer teens to talk about and have sex. It also gives them a happy ending, with the girl getting the girl.

In the original lesbian teen movie, Madchen in Uniform, our teen lesbian ends up trying to kill herself. But I'm a Cheerleader, while being a comedy, takes place at a conversion therapy camp. So does The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

Films like The Prom, Pariah, and The Half of It deal with coming out and homophobia, while other films like The First Girl I Loved and Princess Cyd see young queer characters being sexually assaulted. Even Hulu's other big lesbian rom-com, Happiest Season, is all about being afraid to come out to your family. We need a break -- and Crush has given us one.

In the movie, our main character Paige listens to meme-able sapphic singers like girl in red and Phoebe Bridgers, but the movie is much more along the lines of Fletcher, Zolita, and MUNA. This is the much more fun version of sapphic media that lesbians and sapphics want right now. It's the same trend in sapphic pop that sees songs like "Silk Chiffon," "Cherry," "I F*cking Love You," and Dove Cameron's "Boyfriend" capturing a new type of queer excitement.

As a reaction to growing up with Tracy Chapman, the Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, and k.d. lang singing about yearning and craving, today's young sapphic musicians are starting to sing about the happier brighter side of love. Some are unabashedly sexy and some are unabashedly cheesy, but they're all optimistic. Crush is the film version of one of those songs.

With Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law and the rise of other similar bills, attacks by conservatives calling queer and trans adults "groomers" and "pedophiles" for acknowledging that LGBTQ+ youth exist, and then the leak that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, people are desperate for some queer happiness and love right now. Crush delivers it.

While it's not going to change cinema or break box office records, it will remind you about what we're fighting for. Crush is the perfect movie for queer people to watch to lift their spirits in between protesting and taking direct action against all the anti-LGBTQ+ bills and laws coming down the pipeline. And right now, that makes a pretty great movie.

Crush is now streaming on Hulu.

RELATED | Hulu's Crush Stars Talk Making a Cute, Queer Rom-Com For the Girls

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