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What about Cherry...?
paul_haakonsen23 January 2013
"About Cherry" does try hard to deliver, but it just doesn't punch hard enough to make a lasting mark.

The movie trots ahead at a fairly slow, but steady, pace, which makes the movie seem to go on for a very long time. Especially where there aren't any particular peak moments in the movie.

"About Cherry" is about a young girl who leaves her dysfunctional family behind and moves to San Francisco with her friend. Here in the new town she starts making pornography for a living and earns good money, without heeding the dark side of her job. With her family ties and friendships on the line, Cherry balances a fine line which could easily tip her over.

The story is average, although it is quite painted out in stereotypical aspects, and it is to the point where it starts to become a daytime soap show; alcoholism, pornographic business, drug abuse, family problems, and so forth.

The problem with "About Cherry" is the characters in the story, as they are unfathomably one-dimensional and just doesn't really show much personality or give you enough of them to make you care. You just sit throughout the entire movie with a shrug and occasional shake of the head.

Be warned that there is an excessive amount of nudity and sexual references in the movie, obviously as the movie does revolve around the pornographic industry. Personally, I didn't care much for it, because it was done to the point where it was too much, bordering on being softcore pornography at times.

Personally, I did find that most people in the movie did fair enough jobs with their given roles, but only a couple of them managed to stand out in the movie, and those were Dev Patel (playing Andrew), Heather Graham (playing Margaret) and Lili Taylor (playing Phyllis).

I am sure if you are fans of anyone in the movie, then you might find some greater enjoyment in this movie, or if you have some kind of fascination with the way the pornographic business works, then this might be something for you. But if you are watching this for entertainment, as I did, then you will not walk away with a 'wow' sensation, because the movie just doesn't rock the boat.
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Not sexy, Not dramatic. Not much of anything at all.
The_Film_Cricket22 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Someday a movie is going to be made that will take us inside the adult film industry to show us the reality of what goes on there, and what happens to the people who operate within it. When that film comes, let us hope that it answers the most basic fundamental questions that we the audience will have: How and why does someone get into that industry? What is their home life like? How does it effect their married life? What about their children? Are they worried about raising children while explaining what mommy does for a living? Are they worried about AIDS? How do you move into other profession while still carrying the stigma of being a "porn star" along with you? What happens when you reach the inevitable age when you are no longer sexy and photogenic? What then? That movie is still to be made because clearly "About Cherry" answers none of these questions. Here is a movie that promises sex but plays like a dull soap opera with a little nudity thrown in here and there. It claims to be a portrait of one woman's journey into becoming an adult film star but comes off as slow, uninteresting and anti-climactic. It doesn't have any characters for us to care about nor any of the "good parts" that a lot of moviegoers will be hoping for.

The movie stars Ashley Hinsaw as Angelina, a twenty-something who lives at home with her alcoholic mother (Lili Taylor) and her mom's abusive boyfriend. That situation is hardly explored at all. We see the mother hugging the toilet and the boyfriend stomping about the house like an angry bear (we see him only in shadow). Then we briefly meet Angelina's little sister whom she cares about but not enough to get her out of this unhappy household.

One day, cash-strapped Angelina gets a slight suggestion from her current boyfriend (Jonny Weston), that she try a nude photoshoot with a company that runs a porn site. Why not? It might be an easy way to make money. She does and with the money packs up her things and heads for San Francisco with her best friend Andrew (Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire).

In The City by the Bay, she goes to a lavish party where she meets two people. First is Francis (James Franco), a lawyer with cocaine addiction, who gives her expensive dresses and takes her to lavish parties. He soon becomes her new boyfriend. The other is Margaret (Heather Graham), who directs porn films and suggests that Angelina might perfect to star in her next film. It isn't long before she finds herself embroiled in the business under the name Cherry.

What happens next is exactly what you expect. Angelina gets involved in the adult film industry and starts making money. As she does, all kinds of problem begin stirring up in her personal life. The problem is that they are all problems that we can predict before the movie starts. It is a surprise that Francis has a problem with her profession? Is it a surprise that mom comes to visit, finds out about her new career and abandons her? Is it a surprise that questions arise about Angelina's real age? Is it a surprise that she catches Andrew having a good time with one of her movies? Do you care about any of this stuff? It is difficult to care because none of this stuff is the least bit interesting, especially a badly written subplot involving Margaret's relationship with her lover Jillian that breaks up over questions of Angelina's age. Their breakup scene, in which they have angry sex, is silly and awkward and disturbingly voyeuristic.

"About Cherry" comes from first-time director Stephen Elliott who co-wrote the screenplay with real-life porn star Lorelei Lee. Their script is a mess. They want to comment on the scummy world of the porn business but Elliot employs a soundtrack that romanticizes it. The movie off-sets a few fleeting sex scenes (very few) with dramatic moments that contain long passages of meaningless dialogue.

As for the sex, there are only a handful of scenes showing Angelina in front of the camera but they are all shot in a sleazy voyeuristic way that goes nowhere runs way too short to be of any interest. Yes, there is some nudity and Miss Hinsaw is very attractive, but we get the sense that the director has gotten caught up in the moment and forgotten that he is suppose to be making a point. The end of the film, when Angelina's world has completely come apart is - much like the rest of the film - one of the most confounding conclusions you'll ever experience.

American films that explore sex with even an ounce of maturity are so rare that it is heartbreaking when an attempt goes bad. Here was a movie that had the potential to ask a lot of questions and explore a subject that we might have found interesting, but blows the opportunity at every turn. We are not far into this movie before we realize that "About Cherry" isn't really about anything at all.
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Just had to write a review after reading a few others...
kristendiangelo8 March 2013
For those of you who are not in the adult industry (I am) and have reviewed this film as not representative of what life is really like in the industry... How do you know? It's like me writing a review about a movie that has a medical theme and saying that it's not accurate because of the experiences I have had with doctors...

There is every type of woman and man in this industry. Most often media portrays us to be drug addicts and low lives. In About Cherry, it is shown that there is not one outcome. The film shows that a woman can make a healthy choice when presented with less favorable situations. All too often we only get to see those whose lives fall about, and thus the film perpetuates the stereotype of the Sex Worker. We are not who you think! I read quite a few of these reviews and I am aware that as soon as a film comes out to show a woman in the sex industry to be strong and come out on top, it gets trashed. The reason being it challenges those stereotypes that people hold on to so very strongly. Not long ago, gays and blacks were portrayed the same way in the media. ie... the villain was always some crazed lesbian or cross dresser. We love to vilify that what we don't understand.

Whether you like the film itself or not, is one thing. But please don't tell me it's not realistic until you've worked 10 to 20 years in the industry and know what your talking about.

Sorry, I know this sounds like a soap box, but it's so very crazy how many people will talk about an issue they know nothing of. I liked About Cherry. If nothing more than for the message. But it was entertaining, honest, and offered up a side of the sex industry that most don't see... and besides, it has Heather Graham in it, how can you go wrong with her?
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A shallow and largely unrewarding viewing experience
jimbo-53-18651110 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I clocked this film on Sky Movies On Demand and decided to watch it based on its plot summary. The plot summary really over-sells this film and made me believe that it actually might be a good film (I didn't look at its IMDb rating prior to watching it).

The problem with this film is that it just seems to lack any sort of depth; this extends to both the plot and its characters. With this being a drama on the porn industry, I expected it to explore the ups, downs, and consequences of one's involvement within this industry. This film explores some of the ups quite well and we also see some of the consequences on those around Cherry as a result of her new found career. What it fails to explore is the downside and given the subject matter that's where I thought a lot of the focus would be. Cherry takes cocaine (and seemingly ends up unaffected by this) - she falls out with her parents (and again seems unaffected by this). Cherry then has a bust up with her friend Andrew when she catches him watching porn. At this point, I thought the film was turning a corner and felt that there may be some sort of realisation or insight, but once again the writers stop that thread dead and move on to something else. Worse still, the film suggests that Cherry ends up with film director Margaret - this isn't clear as the film shifts from them having a drink in the bar together and then finds them living together in the next scene. Did anyone else think that was a bit weird?

I think the worst part of this film is that it felt like it had no message and nothing to say; I mean Cherry is arguably happier at the end than she was at the start? She doesn't seemed to have suffered that badly at any point during the film. Whilst I think that saying this glamorises the industry is perhaps going a bit too far, I did feel that it didn't explore the downsides very well and for me that's sending out a fairly dangerous message (particularly to younger viewers).

Personally, I found this film to be shallow and somewhat pointless. It didn't really have anything to say and didn't really explore Cherry's relationships with her family and friends. Worse still, it failed to provide the audience with any sort of commentary. As it is it's basically a pretentious porn film trying to masquerade as a serious drama.
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Fashion model acting
SnoopyStyle1 September 2013
18 year old Angelina (Ashley Grace) sells naked pictures of herself to raise money to run away to San Francisco with her best friend Andrew (Dev Patel). She comes from a dysfunctional family and he's secretly in love with her. She gets involved with drug-addicted lawyer Frances (James Franco). Lesbian former porn actress Margaret (Heather Graham) recruits her to be in her film.

Ashley Hinshaw is a fashion model, and she has the acting skills to prove it. Overall the movie had no joy, no pace, no tension, no drama. There is one good scene with Dev Patel, but that's not enough to recommend this film.
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A realistic drama without any realistic drama.
Boba_Fett113828 August 2012
This is a movie that is trying to pick a more realistic approach with its drama and characters, with as a problem though that neither the drama or characters feel involving or realistic in any way.

I'm still a bit confused where the movie thought it was supposed to get its drama from. The premise of the movie does indeed let it sound like a heavy drama, in which an innocent young girl gets stuck into the world of drugs and porn but the problem with the movie is that none of the drama feels desperate in anyway. I don't even know why the girl got into porn in the first place. It was not like she had abusive parents, or was extremely poor and had no other prospects in life. In other words, there was just nothing miserable or hopeless about her life at all, so why does she decided to make such a drastic life changing decision? The movie is never really clear on it and lets stuff just happen, without letting it have an emotional impact neither.

So maybe her life starts spiraling down once she gets into porn? No, on the contrary actually. She has more money and friends than ever before, so what is the movie actually trying to do or say? Bottomline is that it's trying to be dramatic, without letting anything on the screen come across as dramatic. What a weird and terribly ineffective approach for a drama to take.

It's as if the movie itself also realized that it's drama and main character weren't really working out, since it decides to throw in a bunch of more characters, with each their own things going on. Some of it feels out of place, while some of it does indeed work out more interestingly. It gives the movie at least some variety.

So no, I actually didn't completely hated watching this movie but it still made me constantly go; what's the point of all of it and why am I watching this in the first place?

And the ending...well, it wraps things up but it doesn't ever reach a satisfying conclusion with anything. The movie just ends, without making it feel like everything is done with as well. The movie does indeed leave more questions than answers but on the other hand, you won't care enough about this movie or any of the characters to truly want to see all of the questions getting answered.

A mostly failed independent drama, that you real easily could do without.


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Rotten Cherry
expatriate1624 January 2013
A movie about a hot young woman getting into the porn industry, staring James Franco and Dev Patel? Can't go wrong, right? Wrong!

What I liked: I liked the fact that without watching porn, I got to see an amazingly beautiful Ashley Hinshaw tease the camera, have sex multiple times, show her breasts, and play with herself. I enjoy any movie where young people spontaneously leave the town they have spent their whole lives in and hit the road with only the clothes on their back. My favorite part of the film was the fact that it was almost a feminist movie; at the very least it had speckles of feminism. Cherry is left and called a disgusting whore by a man (James Franco) she was falling in love with, called a huge disappointment by her mother, and loses her best friend because of how she has chosen to make money. A woman exercising control over her own body scares the living poop out of 95% of us men, but Cherry doesn't care too much about what people think.

What I didn't like: I have seen James Franco in a lot of movies (and, of course, Freaks and Geeks) and have enjoyed each and every one. I didn't even know he was in this movie until the opening credits, which was a pleasant surprise. Then, I met his horribly clichéd character; a man who dreamed of being an artist as a child, was put down, and instead became a lawyer. He know has money, but always wonders what could have been. Because of these regrets he is a drug addicted narcissist. If, before I watched, someone would have told me that Franco plays a clichéd part, I would have still assumed his acting would have been enough to make it enjoyable- it wasn't. Dev Patel, although I haven't seen him in anything besides Slumdog Millionaire, was respected in my mind. Unfortunately, he also badly plays a clichéd character. The nerdy (probably gay) best friend of a hot chick who watches said hot chick fall in love with other guys and is therefore miserable. The scene where their roommate Paco takes Patel to a gay bar is one of the most unbelievable, horribly acted, scenes in this wacky movie. The award for worst, most unbelievable scene goes to the part of the movie where Cherry and Patel first arrive in San Francisco. They have never been to the city, apparently have little to no money, and set up an interview for a room in a loft. The interview lasts less than a minute- they meet Paco, Paco shows them the room, they say they'll take it, and they begin unpacking. Seriously? I doubt this could even happen in the smallest community in America.

I can write pages upon pages about how bad this movie was, but I'm getting bored and feeling suicidal just from these short paragraphs. After posting this review, I will do everything in my power to erase the memory of this film, in order to still have some respect for James Franco.
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A tale as old as time, with no new tricks.
stephensmith848 January 2013
I discovered this movie last summer when Heather Graham was doing some promo work. Being familiar with the website the movie's based on, I was pleased to stumble across the DVD.

Whilst I'm sure that porn insiders believe they have a unique tale to tell (including our writer), the reality is that most entrants to pornography come from similar troubled backgrounds. Ashley Hinshaw does a good job with the material she's given. She's certainly beautiful, further emphasised when compared to the stalwarts sharing a dressing room with her. The issue here is that there's simply not enough material to stretch this out.

The viewer can all too easily discern that it's heartbreaking to watch an innocent soul get trapped within such a vile industry. We've collectively witnessed countless documentaries and fiction that's hammered this point into our consciousness. Where this movie succeeds is showing that it's not always a cautionary tale. Is the industry as vile as one would expect? There's an element of professionalism in the manner that contemporary porn companies conduct themselves. This film makes no effort to portray the seedy act of hardcore porn as being produced haphazardly. I was glad of this as it's lazy stereotyping to suggest that in a digital world there's still fat guys calling all the wrong shots behind the camera.

Hinshaw conveys the naivety you'd expect when embarking upon Angelina's journey, but over time her independence grows. Whether it's distancing herself from a difficult family and worshipful best friend, to accepting more personal and emotionally troubling roles at work. The progression seems credible, with minor pacing issues troubling me. It's difficult to comprehend how much time passes between each stage of Angelina's process.

Hinshaw's Angelina has to deal with a boyfriend and a best friend, both male, both with wildly different expectations, but similar opinions of her work. However when the story falls back on their objections, perhaps I was unfairly expecting more than those objections on their own. James Franco plays a smaller role and I suspect he'll be thankful. There's no exploration of his potentially intriguing character at all, which is breathtaking considering his talent and reputation. My question now is what attracted Franco to such a limited role, irrespective of how much screen time it involved? The main issue I have is the quality of the dialogue. There's one particular sequence where the characters simply repeat themselves across multiple scenes which stands out for criticism. Porn insider Lorelei Lee has writing credits, which explains the accuracy and fluidity of the porn terminology, but also the lack of emotional depth in the script. A solid movie could potentially have become a good one. Any film such as this will hope to use the lead character's personal relationships as a crutch, as it's the only way to bring this type of movie to life.

Having recently watched this season's Hollywood Reporter Roundtable for 2013's Best Actress projected nominees, the one constant theme they agreed on was a dearth of quality material to go around. Sally Field, Marion Cotillard, Amy Adams and much more bemoaned the struggles of lead roles worth their attention. Perhaps this is why young Ashley Hinshaw took such a risk to bare all for this movie. It's become fashionable to risk a career to lay claim to a 'gutsy' or 'ambitious' portrayal to pad a resume. Fortunately for Hinshaw this is certainly no Showgirls, but it's a million miles from Monsters Ball.

All things considered this is still worth watching, but don't drop everything to accommodate. The sex scenes aren't too intense or overbearing. If anyone's looking to watch this film only for the nudity then there's enough to sink your teeth into. Hinshaw's got an incredible body and Heather Graham's exactly as you know and love her.

6/10 for me.
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A film without focus (and I don't mean the camera work)
Reaper5 February 2013
Most movies about the business of pornography are moralistic films, showing the exploitation that grinds its participants down and steals their souls (to mix a metaphor).

This is not one of those.

As a movie, it's not sure whether the title character is being ruthlessly exploited, or joyously empowered. She's one or the other both or neither.

A lot of peripheral characters and subplots are drawn in, but all are handled perfunctorily. A lot of star power -- Heather Graham, James Franco, Dev Patel -- is wasted in cardboard roles.

Ashley Hinshaw, playing Cherry, is a beautiful actress, and looks a lot like a younger Heather Graham (no coincidence, I'm sure, in terms of their characters). She doesn't display much range here, and her character is not given a chance to grow (which could be the director's fault).

In the end, it's not bad, but there's nothing there. Despite showing the porn industry, it lacks sleaze; and yet you couldn't call it tasteful. Just dull.
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Shallow, lifeless...
Falconeer5 January 2013
I think this is the most shallow film I have ever seen. "About Cherry" is about a bunch of one dimensional people dealing with the most artificial, superficial problems imaginable. Angelina runs away from an alcoholic mom and dad to become...a porno star, yawn. The entire cast is soap opera beautiful, and the performances are mostly soap opera quality, with the exception of Dev Patel, who's talents are wasted in this bomb. How did he even wind up in this thing? James Franco, (who I greatly admire) will do anything for a laugh or a paycheck obviously. Here he plays a dope addict in lust with the porn actress, yawn. "About Cherry" is an indie film, gone horribly wrong. Obviously directed by a horny, younger man, judging by the amount of cheap nudity and (un)erotic lesbian story lines. There is not one moment of this film that feels real, and not one character that is remotely interesting or believable. But Cherry is hot and shows her boobs..a lot.
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The Pointless Story of a Shallow Teenager without Moral Principles
claudio_carvalho17 May 2014
The eighteen year-old Angeline (Ashley Hinshaw) raises money with a session of naked pictures and leaves her alcoholic and dysfunctional parents fleeing to San Francisco with her friend Andrew (Dev Patel). They rent a room in the apartment of the gay Paco (Vincent Palo) and Angeline finds a job in a strip club and Andrew in a bookstore. Soon Angeline has a love affair with the drug-addicted lawyer Frances (James Franco) and joins the adult industry making porn. Meanwhile the lesbian director Margaret (Heather Graham) becomes obsessed on her.

"About Cherry" is a movie with a pointless story of a shallow teenager without moral principles that leaves her alcoholic parents to become a porn-star. The characters are poorly developed and most of them are unlikable. Angeline is actually a bisexual teenager without any moral principle and maybe nymphomaniac. The situations are also shallow and the movie is neither a drama or romance nor a soft-porn. The only thing that worths is the beauty of the lead actress. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Doce Tentação"
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About Cherry takes a dark journey into the adult film industry
rgblakey13 September 2012
There have been numerous films to come along regarding the adult film industry, but usually come off a bit comical. Thanks to films like Boogie Nights, they showed the darker side creating something a bit more interesting. The latest About Cherry tackles some of the same style subject matter but from a bit different perspective. Will it be able to deliver the needed emotion to make this work or will it take a more artsy route losing its edge?

About Cherry follows a troubled girl who moves to San Francisco and gets involved in the porn industry and a cocaine-addicted lawyer. This film is pretty much along the same lines as Boogie Nights, but doesn't have its charm or star power. The performances here are well done, but the film just seemed to limp along at a slow pace. At times it was hard to figure out what this film wanted you to get out of it, other than just sadness. This slow decent of this young woman is an interesting concept for the film to work from, but the lack of emotion throughout just left it a bit stale. Nobody was bad in this film; they just seemed to not be giving it their all to deliver any of the drama you really care about. Most of this issue seemed to be more due to bad dialogue than bad acting. Kudos go out to the cast and crew for taking the chance to deliver an proactive movie and going towards that extra mile to deliver, but there was just numerous missed chances here.

Even with the addition of great actors Heather Graham, James Franco, and Dev Patel this movie just can't handle delivering what it set out to do. With this type of film it will affect everyone different so make sure to head out and give it a shot. If it evokes some sort of response whether good or bad, then in the end it was an effective film.

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Plot less
keith-w88883 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
OK< this is a commentary on the plot, so may contain spoilers: it's OK for an 18 year old white trash girl to move to San Fran or LA to make porn movies, but it's not OK for her boyfriend to object to her chosen profession and it's even less OK for her other boyfriend to beat himself off to porn movies, because obviously he doesn't love her. And obviously it's perfectly safe for an 18 year old white trash girl to get into porn, because obviously nothing bad is going to happen to her and obviously all the nice people that work in the porn industry are going to look after her best interests. So there you have it. It's OK to make porn, but it's not OK to watch it.
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Plot not cohesive, shallow characters, things happen randomly!
ashki-bala-159-4291742 September 2013
I just watched this movie. The thing about it is that the characters are very shallow. The acting is good but the characters lack depth and you don't understand why things happen.

Most of the characters appear briefly and we never get to know what happens at the end. Cherry/Angelina's cocaine-addict boyfriend suddenly disappears and we never hear from him again. She argues with her best friend and we don't know what happens to him at the end. The same with her mom's abusive boyfriend and Heather Graham's girlfriend. It's like things happen for no reason. Thing just ... happen. Characters have no impact on the plot. They just come and go. The end is absolutely rubbish.

It's a good movie if you are so bored and wanna kill some time but don't have high expectations.

I would rate it 2 out of 10 but I gave 4 because acting wasn't that bad.
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It's like watching a porno that tries to have a story without much nudity...
KineticSeoul21 March 2013
Watching this movie is like a porno trying to have a story except with hardly much nudity if that makes any sense. The movie tries to show the spiraling down of a innocent girl who ends up joining the porno industry. The thing is, there isn't any moments that shock or hits the gut or psychologically show the desires of men and women. The movie "Bad Guy" by Ki-duk Kim or even the movie "Compliance" which I seen had more of a shock factor. And the build up makes the audiences care for those movie or at least get their attentions. This one I could barely sit through and was bored with the superficial and fake characters who I can't see how anyone can have sympathy for them. Maybe I am just being a bit cold, but no one is likable in this movie. It's just really shallow people doing really shallow stuff. Maybe it's trying to show the selfish and messed up side of humanity but it did a pretty plastic job of that as well. The message seems to be in this flick is "if your bored with your life or not satisfied become a porn star" kinda deal. The makers of this flick thought the main payoff is to show Ashley Hinshaw topless, and it's still not worth sitting through this atrocious movie. James Franco is also in this and I don't know why he even bothered. I doubt he needed the paycheck so much to the point he had no choice but to be in this flick. In fact him being in this is probably the main reason the studio decided to green-lit this movie. And the fact that it has Ashley Hinshaw topless.

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Ideals fell apart!!
moyamite12 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Look, I am all for the freedom to experiment and discover ones self. That is very important in today's modern times. There is so much information and new stimulants for our beings to sense. And to reflect this openness in film is an intelligent thing to do. But when a character is written to say, 'You don't love me enough to masturbate to someone else!', I protest with a cosmic 'Oh hell no!!!!!'.

Maybe its a woman thing. Men are suppose to jerk off to everyone but, who they are in love with?? Is it?? Is it wrong for a young man to have sexual fantasies about their close friends? No wait.. I mean hot sizzling head turning super banging instant erect making boxer moist making flirty girl friends? Or which ever gender lights your fire... Because either the 'writer' wanted to show the audience how much morals can sway depending on whose eyes they are viewed from.. or they are complete 'vaginal deodorant products'!! The reaction was without base. It was beyond surreal to the point that it became moronic. After the line, I assumed the 'writer' had a meteor fall from outer space and squash Cherry, not just the character but the whole movie to little stupid bits of space pigeon poop. Because I would have been sold on that nonsense more than the movie's laws and etiquette of male masturbation.
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Matter of fact presentation of an industry and the people who work there
zinjo00-587-97518320 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was struck by the refreshingly matter of fact approach to the adult industry. It wasn't judgmental or some sort of cautionary tale, just a tale about characters who work in the field. The portrayal was albeit a somewhat sanitized one, but then again most films treat industries that way. No doubt co-writing the film with Lorelei Lee, an active porn actress, had a strong affect on the tone toward an industry that puritan moralists abhor.

What struck me was that I didn't really find any point to the film. There were no lessons learned, no insights gained or epiphanies discovered by any of the characters. Angelica was not a weak character made strong, or a confused individual finding clarity. The sub-plots were underdeveloped and often abandoned without any real resolution. Even the implication of step-father abuse was shown on screen but then abandoned.

Why resurrect her alcoholic mother later in the film when it was superfluous? What exactly was her relationship with Andrew? We are led to believe he might be gay and then ultimately he isn't? That struck me as quite unrealistic. Strong attractions are often acted upon in close quarters. A scene with him feeling her up in her sleep would be more telling and realistic than spending 10 minutes of screen time on her mother and sister.

I am not sure what the purpose of the Francis character was? No romantic relationship was really developed (likely due to too little available screen time), so when he dropped the judgment bomb on Angelica it sounded very hollow and without grounds. Probably due to the fact that very little screen time was given to develop the two and so no real loss was empathetically felt by the viewer.

I could go on, but what I truly see here is that there were two films crammed into one. There was so much material that could and should have been developed into two projects.

Things like: (1.) The evolution of Andrew's relationship with Angelica as a Porn star. (2.) Angelica's falling into the relationship patterns of her mother (3.) Margaret's relationship issues stemming from attraction to a porn starlet she works with. (4.) Angelica sorting out her sexuality as a result of her work activities in the porn industry. (5.) Angelica's relationship with her alcoholic mother and the sister she left behind.

Any couple or perhaps three of these plot lines would have made for a compelling story in itself. To Shoe horn all of this into one film is simply too much, it would be too much for Chris Nolan who successfully pulled off Inception!

I didn't hate this film, I was mostly disappointed by it. Like a parent being disappointed in an under-achieving child.

The performances were excellent but the story was too dense and ambitious for a single film.

I look forward to more of Lorelei Lee's collaborations. She has an insight that should be mined.

A good film that could have been greater.
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Barely a story, barely any acting
dissident3207 September 2017
This is bad without being hilarious. There are some decent actors in this such as Dev Patel, Lily Taylor and perhaps even James Franco. But you're not seeing any good performances from them. It all feels like rehearsals or one take. There's a scene at the bar with the lead Ashley Winshaw and James Franco where I'm pretty sure she breaks and starts laughing but they just leave it in. I really doubt there was a script on this because scenes just play out they have an outline and just fill in the words. There's no subtlety whatsoever in how characters react or what happens. You feel very aware that it's just a checklist of story beats to get you to the end.

I will say there were a couple of moments where I saw a what a good movie about this subject could be. Her being in porn and dating outside of that would be a difficult thing to discuss and work through. Instead characters mostly react with disgust and there's no depth to the subject matter.

Perhaps a shame that there there are flashes of the director trying to convey a message of sorts. But this is certainly not the female version of Boogie Nights. It's just a goofy movie about a girl who wants to be in porn for no particular reason.
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Cop out
BenjaminFoxDickerson13 January 2014
This film had every opportunity to make a fair commentary about sex work being legitimate work. But instead opted for the softball ending. The third act was utterly disappointing in how unbelievably compromised it was. From Franco's drug addled boyfriend character turning to denigrate Cherry, to the total lack of consequence surrounding Margaret's relationship ending and her just simply replacing her former long-term live in girlfriend with Cherry. And ultimately Cherry's absurd move to being behind the camera, like it's a simple task any novice can accomplish with relative ease.

It's as though the script for this film was only partially thought out. And the characters were maligned from the moment they hit the frame. None of the characters had a genuine connection to one another, for example the Francis/Cherry relationship process and especially the Andrew/Cherry dynamic. What a complete wash of over-simplification.

This film is pretentiously fence-sitting and poorly actualized. Makes me sad, because it's a great opportunity that the filmmakers lost.
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New take
kosmasp8 June 2013
It's nice to see another take on the adult film industry. I don't have any experience or know anyone in the adult film industry, but I can see things like that happening (or at least similar to those depicted in the movie). You might think the same, if you watched the special feature/interview that is on the (german?) DVD. Hopefully they included this on all discs, because you can see the sincerity of the writer of this movie coming through.

The movie still has some dramaturgy issues, some character based actions might not be that well explained, the overall experience is a good one (if you forgive the pun). And while there is nudity and some sensual scenes, the movie overall is not meant to excite that much in that category. There is always more than one story that can be told about something. Question is, are you open enough to see this particular one?
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No Lovelace
jerasica_9918 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I agree with other reviewers when they say this film is unrealistic. Not in the sense that it doesn't portray the sex industry correctly (I'm not qualified to make a judgment) but in the sense that many of the events that occur and the reasons that drive our protagonist into the porn industry are not hard hitting enough. For instance, at the start we see Cherry with her boyfriend, who compliments her beauty and suggests she takes professional pictures (so everyone can see her 'beauty'). This scene ignites her willingness later to enter the porn industry. I think the movie would have been better if they added a bit more darkness into the movie. I get that this film aims to challenge our perception of working girls, by showing us not all female sex workers are manipulated or forced into the porn industry against their will.

But there was room for the film to delve more deeper into the psychological, social or environmental issues that may have influenced her decision or motivated any of the other 1 dimensional characters in the movie. As opposed to watching her hanging out in a strip-club, touching herself up in front of a camera, hooking up with a wealthy drug addict, dumping her best friend, shacking up with a lesbian colleague and ending up the other side of the camera. The End.

That is not a movie, that's 102mins out of our lives that we will NEVER get back! In a nutshell, this is a movie about how a young women, sleeps her way to the top by becoming a Lesbian.

Massive disappointment!
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Glamourised porn
Gordon-112 February 2014
This film tells the story of a young woman who enters the pornographic industry to make ends meet.

The lead actress, Ashley Hinshaw, is very beautiful and sweet. She is surely the girl of many guys' dream. It is quite a pity that her character has to do whatever it takes to make ends meet. Her life has no sugar coating, her family is dysfunctional, while the boyfriend is a drug addict. How she manages to keep sane is quite impressive.

Though there are lots happening in the story, it is not that intriguing and is not enough to pique my interest. To me, "About Cherry" looks more like glamourised porn rather than a film about a young woman's tough journey.
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Had potential, but squandered it
grantss25 August 2014
This movie had potential, but squandered it. The story of how a normal, average woman ends up in the porn industry had a lot going for it. It started well enough and seemed to be building to something profound. Instead, from a point it just drifts, and ends up going nowhere. At times it seems judgmental, then next moment titillating. Instead of objectivity the writer and director try to hedge their bets.

On the plus side, Ashley Hinshaw is great in the lead role. Stunningly beautiful, and convincing. James Franco proves yet again that he is vastly overrated as an actor, coming across as a clueless kid in a school play. He is may well be the male version of Kristen Stewart...

Heather Graham does well in a supporting role. Dev Patel seems a bit miscast in his role.
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About Cherry — A sweet little movie about a sweet little girl and porn
AvidClimber15 December 2012
About Cherry pulls every punches to make sure you can see Cherry's sweet side. Reality is there, you can see it clear as day, but the story is all about her innocent nature. The bad things are presented, but not dwelled upon. You get to know her and by the end you just wish to get to know her more, that's how sweet she is.

The camera moves are well chosen, the point of views and focus done just right. The scoring is just as sweet as the main actress and all the characters are well played. The scenario is a great balance in time and subjects, presenting you a lot of tidbits, in a concise manner that you can easily ingest.

It's almost perfect. The only reproach I can make is that it is so sweet, it has no punch. I must admit, I didn't care that it didn't. I will watch it again many times, that is a guaranty.

Easily listening. I highly recommend it to the naughty one waiting for a candy inside of you.
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Well done, very subtle film gives one look at modern state of adult film industry
gnostication12 January 2015
Although I have used IMDb for years, I only just now made an account so that I may write a review for this film. I'm shocked at such a low score that it has received.

As with most independent dramas, the film moves slowly and has a slight dream-like feel. About Cherry's director clearly made conscious effort to not just produce some trite content about sex films but instead make art, so I enjoyed the pace and tone of the film to match its artistic reflection.

The film is very subtle, and I found it to trigger and alight my imagination as part of receiving the story. Most of the heaviest emotional aspects of About Cherry are only hinted at. Maybe it's a half-smile of the mother character, played phenomenally by Lili Taylor (in what I consider one of her best supporting roles) when she visits her runaway daughter. The slight up-turn of her lip reveals desperation, insecurity, love, and shame all in a single moment. Or the brief scene when Angelina (the character who becomes "Cherry" when entering the adult industry) is asleep with her younger sister on some couch-bed (maybe the family is too poor for the entire family to have bedrooms?) and feels the menacing presence of her step-father that leaves the attentive viewer a thick taste of some muddied history of abuse. However, even as the allusive nature of the narration benefits the imaginative mechanisms of the viewer, the film demands a certain sophistication and attention that may prevent its accessibility.

As a male who worked in the adult (straight) industry in the late 90's and early 2000's, both as an owner in production and as "talent", I personally greatly admire the film. There are all types of people involved in the industry, but with About Cherry we get to also encounter the more modern type of sex worker who can transcend morals and even health through emotional or spiritual wounds to reach healthier and happier levels. I like how the movie shows a porn actress actually turning down cocaine. I also like the lesbianism in the movie because it's absolutely true that female adult actresses often grow more romantically fulfilled with women after years of essentially being used and dominated by testosterone.

As a resident of Northern California, in close proximity to San Francisco, and having spent time recently at The Armory (home to the real adult film studios that much of About Cherry was shot at), I especially like how the film gave an honest picture of the current evolution that the industry is witnessing. The S.F. adult industry scene is creating a renaissance in the culture, where women are discovering they can actually have fun (not always) with the work. Instead of simply feeling pressure from the expectation to be just an object, the adult film industry of Northern California is creating a culture of permission-based, fantasy oriented, sex-positive healthy exploration and weaving that into film production. There is an attempt to even integrate more artistic and enlightened practices to the adult film productions as well.

Although details of the adult industry, the character's thoughts, and the dark background of the story may have been left out of About Cherry, I consider both the content and presentation of this movie to be exceptional. I was very impressed with both the acting and the direction, and very much enjoyed the story - even the ending. This film may not be for everyone, but I would still recommend it to most everyone I know.
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