“Cherry” seems like it would be a grand film as it plays like a John Waters flick set in Shirley Jackson territory. The actors all do an excellent job, and the story is interesting enough to catch one’s attention. Unfortunately, something about the film doesn’t come off quite right.
The movie centers on the problems Cherry (Rima Yazbeck) has leaving a small dying town after finding her soon-to-be hubby, David (Scott Blair), cheating on her … again. What Cherry doesn’t know, however, is that David’s mommy (Rosemary Gass) wants Cherry to stick around in order to help populate their little corner of Heaven. The population has been falling as quickly as the tourism rates, and the citizens don’t want to die alone. As to be expected, chaos ensues. Throw in a crusty old sailor named Saltwater (Kevin Bach) and a comical near-wedding, and this should be a movie worth spending a half hour with. Should be, but isn’t.
While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this film fails, two reasons could be the running time and tone. A half hour doesn’t let anyone get all that invested in these decidedly rich characters, and the film’s atmosphere goes from slightly sinister to comedic often in the same scene. Usually there is nothing wrong with that kind of split environment, but it detracts from the film here. If anything, “Cherry” should have gotten progressively darker with less and less humor thrown in — or it should have gone the total opposite route and made comedy its venue of choice.
There’s a lot to like here, but like the high school virgin, it’s more of a frustrating tease. If it were developed into a feature with a little less of a personality disorder, it could really be worthy of some heartfelt praise. Until then, however, this will just infuriate people who like the premise but want to see more.