The first year of college can be a particularly rough time for a freshman. The transition from high school to the world of higher learning is already a difficult situation. Throw in themes of independence, sexuality, and social media and life can become messy. For Izzy, Anuka, and Fiona, navigating freshman year can be a fun adventure if they can survive the last party of the school year. Stylish effects and twenty-first century sensibilities make CRSHD a sex comedy for this generation.
A lot has been said about Generation Z. One of its most prevalent markers is the reliance on social media. Phones, rarely used for actual phone calls, are almost a fourth member of the friend group portrayed in Emily Cohn’s film. Cohn uses eye catching visuals and colors throughout the film to capture the light hearted nature of the friends and explore the importance of technology. Digital avatars are used to show the girls as they travel to a party, in a very Candy Crush styling. Tinder and Instagram profiles pop up on screen to reflect the characters’ interests. The light from the screen casts bright colors on character faces as they review interesting news or exciting texts. CRSHD is incredibly modernistic in its presentation.
As modern as the film may be, the overall goal of the film is very traditional. Like most sex comedies before it, the ultimate goal for the protagonist is get laid. Izzy, played by Isabelle Barbier, is insistent on losing her virginity before the end of freshman year and there is no better setting than the epic CRSHD party. While this idea might not be wholly original, the characters are unique and do not follow any trope before them. Izzy is a serious girl trying to deal with her virgin status. In the middle of studying and trying to look cool, she is busy fantasizing about making out with anyone who approaches her.
Barbier gives a great comedic performance, completely true to the spirit of an awkward studious freshman trying to find her inner sex goddess. Despite her awkwardness, Izzy is brave and confident. Izzy is also accompanied by her more sexually experienced friends Anuka (Deeksha Ketkar) and Fiona (Sadie Scott). There is a definite realism to the friendship that is explored. The three friends may not be the closest, but it is clear that the friendship will either strengthen or fall apart. There are no reassurances. Anuka and Fiona have their own subplots going on that are never given much depth, but it is a good way to show the different facets of their characters. The use of social media and text messaging illustrates the various bonds and demonstrates how friends can stay connected, but also shows how it might hinder friendships when true communication is neglected.
Written and directed by Emily Cohn, CRSHD is a film about women supporting women and celebrates female sexuality. Filled with emojis and modern communication, the film is ultimately about growing up and shows the importance of paying attention to a world beyond the phone screen. Completely sex positive and never judgemental in its tone, CRSHD champions the diverse interests its audience while delivering laughs and a fun story.
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