Scandalous film is risky but lacks character development
About Cherry is mostly sex and drugs, with a little bit of heartache thrown in, too. The tale of a teenager with a terrible home life, this is not your average “inspirational, rise from the ashes” movie. With the potential to be a riveting story of struggle, it just misses the mark for me because of its unnecessarily numerous sex scenes, superficial story telling and rushed ending.
Cherry, who starts out as a hard-working older sister/replacement for her absentee mother, transforms from struggling teenager to porn star so quickly that if you blinked you would have missed it. This seemed to be a theme throughout the entire movie, however: quickly introducing characters and relationships, then letting them trail off without mention.
The ending was no exception. The sudden resolution was quite frustrating after so much of the film was wasted on one seemingly unnecessary graphic scene after the other. The movie was starting to lull toward the end, and then, in a mere three scenes, the whole thing wraps up. Feeling confused and somewhat cheated, so many questions came to mind after the credits began to roll — ones that should have been answered throughout the course of the movie and not left as loose ends.
Despite the incomplete and shuffled method of storytelling, About Cherry does boast some sexy scenes, and some big names such as James Franco, Heather Graham and Dev Patel. Ashley Hinshaw, the lead, gives a riveting performance as a believable porn star while maintaining the innocence of a teenage girl. Though the plot was a bit lacking, the acting was top-notch and it made a film that could have been trashy and cheap into a respectable piece of work.
As the debut film for author Stephen Elliott, it was definitely not bad — but it could have been better. The story line had immense potential to truly convey the heartache associated with a broken childhood and the struggle to make ends meet, but it seemed to just skim over a lot of these points. Sex was used as the filler for all of the plots inadequacies, which really sacrificed the depth of the story. Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed the majority of this bold and risky film. If you’re looking for a deeply complex story, About Cherry is probably not right for you; but if you are looking for a movie with no rules that is unlike any that are being produced right now, this is it.