A contemporary "women's picture" that moves from witty comedy to searing tragedy and back, Crush delves into the complicated dynamics of female friendship with an intriguing candor that might startle anyone expecting another fluffy romantic Brit-com. Playing independent, "older" women increasingly absent from Hollywood fare, Andie MacDowell, Anna Chancellor, and Imelda Staunton trade stories about fortysomething single life with humor and palpable affection. Also in a refreshing deviation from Hollywood stereotypes, MacDowell and young honey Kenny Doughty generate believable heat that turns into real love. Rather than devolving into a competitive catfight over the boy or gratuitous, irredeemable nastiness, the ensuing difficulties expose how complicated the bonds of female intimacy can be. A man may spark the trouble, but he's not the ultimate prize. Though Crush feels like it has several consecutive endings, writer/director John McKay's final payoff gives the film an upbeat, funny conclusion that also remains true to its more knotty sensibility.