Let’s get this out of the way as soon as possible. Comparisons between Olivia Wilde’s almost universally acclaimed feature-length directorial debut “Booksmart” and “CRSHD” (Lightyear), the feature film debut of director Emily Cohn are inevitable. Both films involve the loss of virginity, a party at which such a deflowering may potentially take place, and the final night of a significant year.
In the case of “CRSHD,” it’s the last night of college student Izzy’s (Isabelle Barbier) freshman year and, much to her chagrin, she’s still a virgin. Her best friends Anuka (Deeksha Ketkar) and queer Fiona (Sadie Scott) are far more sexually experienced. Because of that, they take it upon themselves to help Izzy achieve her goal of leaving that part of herself behind.
While not exactly outcasts, the trio are outsiders, visible to only the friendliest of the cool kids on campus. Brainy Izzy does have an admirer, Oliver (Ralph Fineberg), from her astrophysics class. He attempts to make conversation with her, especially when it comes to their impending astro final exam, but Izzy has her sights set on unattainable Nolan (Abdul Seidu).
As is common in this popular movie theme (see “American Pie”), there are a series of obstacles in Izzy’s way. The first is trying to figure out how to get an in-demand invitation to the exclusive campus “Crush Party”. There are specific rules to be followed – one has to the object of someone else’s crush which must be submitted in writing to the party organizers. Along the way, the young women have to surmount challenges including an interaction with the campus cop Officer Mike’s (Jerry Lee Tucker) son Jared (Gabe Steller) and his pal Emerson (Brandon Halderman); a stoned Tinder acquaintance named Georgie (L.H. González); a text from Izzy’s professor reminding her of the importance of the final exam for her grade; Anuka’s flirtation with Sexy Rexy (Jack Reynolds) endangering her relationship with Julius (Dylan Rogers); and the theft from the College Lanes bowling alley of a pair of boots belonging to Fiona’s crush Elise (Isabelle Kenet), to mention a few.
There is also the destruction of property (including a skateboard with illuminated wheels); the loss of a family heirloom (a pair of ruby earrings lent to Izzy by Anuka); the potential closing of the bowling alley, which also happens to be where Fiona works; and the dissolution of the three girls’ friendship due to a variety of misunderstandings.
As first features go, Cohn shows she’s got mad skills, including the way she incorporates an assortment of tech tricks that really pop. Nevertheless, this kind of thing has been done better, and because of that “CRSHD” suffers by contrast. Available via “virtual theatrical release” through tickets purchased at eventive.org.