Movie Review: About Cherry

About Cherry (2012) is an independent film directed by Stephen Elliott and written by Elliott and Lorelei Lee, a veteran porn actress. It is set to be released in late September, but I caught it in a pretheatrical release. The eponymous "Cherry" is really Angelina (played by Ashley Hinshaw), an 18 year old girl living a very difficult life. Her family lives in squalor, and she has to work in a laundromat while trying to go to high school. Her mother (played by Lili Taylor) is an alcoholic, her stepfather is abusive, and her half-sister has retreated into electronics.

Angelina is dating a guy in a band when she hears about an amateur nude photo shoot. After getting paid $500, she decides to escape her terrible life by running away to San Francisco with her best friend, Andrew (played by Dev Patel). They rent a cheap room and she gets a job waiting tables in a strip club. At the club, she meets Frances (played by James Franco), a wealthy lawyer with a nasty cocaine habit. 

Angelina decides to answer an ad at a porn studio to become one of the actresses and changes her name to Cherry. The production company is extremely high tech and professional, with state-of-the-art equipment, make-up artists, and directors. Her first film is directed by Margaret (played by Heather Graham)- a lesbian in a strained relationship with Jillian (played by Diane Farr). Jillian is portrayed as the more masculine partner in the same sex relationship. She is aggressive, angry, controlling, and ultimately sexually assaults Margaret in a display of power.

Cherry's (Angelina's) mother comes to visit and immediately hits her up for money for her "sick" sister. Of course, this is coming from an addict, and we find out that the sister isn't really sick. 

There are so many aspects of this film that are unrealistic. Angelina's life with her family is bad, but never quite as terrible as it could be. Her stepfather comes close to abusing her, but never does. Her rocker boyfriend is jealous, but nothing ever comes of it. She moves away and joins the porn industry never to be asked to do anything unsavory. She actually moves up the career ladder and becomes a director. Her personal life looks as if it might head in a negative direction when she parts ways with her best friend Andrew, but no. She just hooks up with Margaret and lives in a fancy apartment and eats fresh fruit and falls in love. Even Margaret's ex-girlfriend never shows back up to cause trouble.
I'm not sure why I wasted time and money to watch this film except that I was lured by James Franco, Lili Taylor, and Heather Graham. But you can benefit from my misfortune by avoiding this lackluster movie. Don't even rent it. And as most of you know, I do not like to do negative reviews, but in this case, it's a necessity.

Thanks for stopping by. And remember, you've just been buzzed!