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As the lead turn in this burb-midlife crisis dramedy, Wendi McLendon-Covey repeatedly does a facial expression which can best be called stunned-discontentment-and-incredulity. It is, if nothing else, appropriate for the very eventful script from writer-director Debra Eisenstadt, that packs in loads of ideas and situations, and brings us to a series of contrived seriocomic crises, after which the dramatic temperature is reset to normal in the succeeding scene. At one stage McLendon-Covey’s character gets hit by a car, and simply limps away with the same satirically grumpy face and a bruise to show for it. It’s not totally clear if the surreal effect is intentional.
McLendon-Covey plays Cathy, a woman who is bored and unfulfilled in her uptight marriage to Matthew (Steve Little, the dorky teacher Stevie Janowski from TV’s Eastbound & Down) and anxious about her relationship with her teen daughter Tara – a very good performance from Kate Alberts. When she goes cat sitting for her querulous sister Gail (Catherine Curtin), Cathy finds herself fascinated by Gail’s dodgy neighbours: substance abuser Gemma Jean (Christine Woods), her husband Paul (Graham Sibley) and their teen son Xander (Max Burkholder). Gemma Jean shares inappropriately with Cathy, and both Paul and Xander seem attracted to her.
Blush plays out along the classic American Beauty lines: menopausal sexual adventure for the grownups in ironic parallel with a disruptive emotional awakening for the teens a generation below. Tara even does an outrageously sexy group dance on the high-school stage which is taken straight from the Oscar-winning film. Matthew seems entirely enraptured by this, incidentally – odd, considering how cross he is later about Tara’s apparent relationship with a much older boy. In the end, this movie doesn’t really go anywhere or do anything.
• Released on 22 February on digital platforms.
Source: The Guardian
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