Darien or Adrian? Adrian or Darien? Who does Alicia Silverstone play in The Crush? It depends on which version you saw.
When the movie came out in theaters, she was named Darien because she was based on a real girl named Darien who writer/director Alan Shapiro claimed was obsessed with him. When the real-life Darien saw the movie and saw that she was portrayed as a psycho stalker, she was understandably pissed off and she sued Shapiro. As a result, when the film was re-edited for TV and later released on video, Darien suddenly became Adrian.
Whether Silverstone’s playing Adrian or Darien, the movie is still fairly lackluster. This movie came out when Alicia was still known for playing the lead in several sexually-charged Aerosmith videos and it features her doing the whole Lolita thing, which was very popular in the 90s. She becomes obsessed with her neighbor, Nick (Cary Elwes). Nick tries to be nice but when it become obvious that he’s not going to risk going to jail even if the the girl next door does look like Alicia Silverstone, Adrian/Darien starts trying to make his life Hell. She also tries to kill Nick’s girlfriend with a bunch of bees. Nick’s girlfriend is played by Jennifer Rubin, who was one of the best of the straight-to-video actresses of the 90s.
(Unlike Alicia’s other pre-Clueless starring turn, The Babysitter, The Crush was not straight-to-video but probably would have been if not for those Aerosmith videos. The Babysitter is also not very good but it’s an unsung classic when compared to The Crush.)
The Crush is one of those movies that got a huge push when it came out. MTV was all over it and the commercials were edited to make it look like a steamy thriller starring the girl that every boy had a crush on in 1993. I can’t remember if the movie got an R-rating or a PG-13 but I do know that my friends and I were bummed out when we were told we weren’t allowed to see it. Later, we rented it on video and discovered, not for the first time, that we were misled. The movie itself is really tame and Alicia’s miscast. She actually seems too level-headed to be the type who would try to kill Jennifer Rubin. Cary Elwes goes through the whole movie with a pained expression on his face, like he’s wondering how he went from The Princess Bride to this. Kurtwood Smith plays Alicia’s father and he was always good as a bad parent. It’s also always good to see Jennifer Rubin, even if her role here doesn’t allow her to show off the wicked playfulness that made her a late night Cinemax favorite. She definitely should have been a bigger star.
The main lesson to learn from The Crush? If you are going to portray an acquaintance as a murderous psycho, at least be smart enough to change the name. It will save you a lot of money and trouble.