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Crush review

Every week, fortysomethings Kate (Andie MacDowell), Janine (Imelda Staunton) and Molly (Anna Chancellor) convene the Sad Fuckers Club to drink gin, eat chocolate and slag men. Then teacher Kate begins a passionate affair with an old pupil, Jed (Kenny Doughty). How will a frightfully conservative community react when the news seeps out? And will the Sad Fuckers Club ever be the same again?

Like Bridget Jones’s Diary, this is a slick, amusing chick flick that obsesses over relationships, even though its primary audience is women who have slipped, squirming and maybe even screaming, into middle age. That said, writer-director John McKay’s feature debut vitally pulls off the canny, Bridget-ish trick of being good enough, funny enough and universal enough to welcome all comers. So long as you’ve ever experienced the highs, lows and soul-crushing when-am-I-ever-gonna-get-laids? of love, you’ll find something to latch onto here.

McKay also deserves plaudits for getting the usually brittle MacDowell to turn in a performance that is both likeable and, astonishingly, sexy. If only he’d resisted the urge to swap zingy one-liners for EMOTIONAL DEPTH AND SOUL SEARCHING in the final third. To say more would reveal a major plot point, but suffice to say Crush features a jarring shift of tone that will leave you shaking your head for the last half hour. And it was all going so well.

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