Monday, 8 October 2012

About Cherry (2012)

Ashley Hinshaw void deck ABOUT CHERRY
Ashley Hinshaw: Pretty but pretty limited.

At a glance:
Ain't read a single good word about this movie since it debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012 but it was at least good enough to get itself on VOD and even scored a limited release Stateside, so I thought I'd write a little about it. About Cherry (2012) a.k.a. Cherry focuses on nubile blonde Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw) and her reluctant, slow descent into porn stardom (if you could even call it that). Her boyfriend suggests she might as well do it since she's already the village slut, so she leaves her alcoholic mum (Lili Taylor) and runs off to San Francisco with her (gay? bi?) best buddy (Dev Patel) in tow. While humpin tables as a cocktail waitress, she meets two interestin people who want a piece of her - a dodgy lawyer (James Franco) and a lesbian porn director (Heather Graham).
Bad news on the doorstep:
Will you make me a star?
Amy Cheong HDB racist Void Deck
Stephen Elliott's first feature is a near-perfect example of a technically accomplished indie movie with nothin much to say. It's a bigger letdown if you read about how much access they have to compellin material - book author Elliott is apparently a former sex worker (stripper, it seems) while his friend and co-writer Lorelei Lee is a veteran porn star (ever read about the Milk Nymphos trial?) who even does a little cameo. The movie is said to challenge "assumptions about porn, sexuality, and success, and faces the difficult question of where you need to be in order to find yourself" but you know all the spins by now, don't you. It's a vacuous, unreflected San Francisco story which could've been remembered for so many things other than Hinshaw's naked but limited role. Perhaps the false step is havin no character we could empathise with.
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Perennial wonderment:
When will Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, 2008) find his feet and star in a role that actually furthers his career? I thought his nervous contribution to this and also to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) were rather contrived.
Reminds me of:
The Babysitters (2007) but that had much more substance.You would've thought a better movie would've come out of the San Fran Armory - home of the Internet porn giant

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You'd probably learn more about the industry from Ron Jeremy's pube sheddin in between sets. Failed sexploitation movie with no insights to sell. More info at the About Cherry official website and Facebook page if you can be bothered.

Bonus material:
Heather Graham in yet another skin-friendly role.