Virginia Film Festival

About Cherry

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 film is not your average “inspirational, rise from the ashes” story. With the potential to be a riveting story of struggle, it just misses the mark for me.

The plot is extremely unique, and one that would definitely draw the teen audience- sex, sex, and more sex!- but there were too many aspects of the complex plot that were introduced, and then cut off so quickly that the viewer does not even know where they left off. 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- very frustrating.

Despite the seemingly incomplete and shuffled method of storytelling, it does boast some sexy scenes, and some big names like James Franco, Heather Graham, and Dev Patel- who will melt your heart in this film! Ashley Hinshaw, the lead, gives an amazing and riveting performance that somehow manages to portray a pornstar while maintaining the innocence of a teenage girl. Though the plot was a bit lacking, the acting was top-notch and it makes a film that could be trashy and cheap into a respectable piece of work.

As the debut film for author Stephen Elliott, it was definitely not bad- but could it have been better? The story line had SO much potential to truly convey the heart ache associated with a broken childhood and the struggle to make ends meet, but it seemed to just skim over a lot of these points. Yes, it could have been better, but I truly enjoyed the majority of this bold and risky film.

As for the ending…One word: Disappointment. 3/5 stars.
-Kristen Hardy


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