A college student falls in love with the wrong woman and finally decides to quit college to join the army. The protagonist then returns from Iraq and suffers from PTSD, and a related drug addiction.
“Cherry” is one big flashback story that opens with the final scene in which the protagonist is robbing a bank. From this moment the entire movie backtracks (through flashbacks) the decisions that lead to this moment. The structure of the flashbacks and setup is very similar, if not identical, to “Goodfellas (1990)” in which the ‘fourth wall’ is broken in order to connect with the audience. However, the main difference is that Cherry (Tom Holland) is not a ‘born criminal’, and Emily (Ciara Bravo) is not an accomplice. Instead, it shows an extremely sad story about good people with problems, or people that make the wrong decisions in life.
One could make the argument that the source of the problem is drug related, and women related in the sense that the protagonist constantly makes bad decisions regarding these two topics. For this exact reason there is a lot of conflict in the story, and this is even excluding all the PTSD problems, and side drama. I would even argue that there is way too much drama, and negativity put into this script because at no point is there any positive scene. That is not totally true because there is one ‘positive’ scene but this would be a spoiler.
However, this is not the biggest problem of “Cherry”. The main problem is that the entire movie feels like some sort of a bad parody at times. And there were many cliché moments which I found very annoying. Especially the whole Iraq war situation was just so overdone that it did feel like a really bad parody. The performance from the supporting cast also didn’t help very much because it was not good at all. The only good actors in this entire movie were Tom Holland, and Ciara Bravo. If it was not for them I would have rated this movie a 2/10. However, the most problematic element of this film might be the fact that I had no idea what this movie wanted to do. I understand that it wants to show us what the wrong decisions in life can do to a person. But why could they not have made all of the Iraq scenes more realistic by hiring better supporting cast members, and coming up with different scenarios? And I don’t even want to discuss the bank robbery scene because it was just so silly. Yes he is basically a junky at that time, but that doesn’t justify the stupid, weird, silly details which I wont spoil for you.
It is really bad if you try to cover serious, and interesting topics which you then turn into some kind of bad parody/cliché. I can imagine that the big idea was to make a “Goodfellas” (1990) kind of a movie. But “Goodfellas” had a high level of parody which worked because there were many funny scenes in it. Whereas there are zero funny scenes in “Cherry” because everything is so depressing. Basically, this entire movie is not balanced, and therefore nothing seems to work. Moreover the characters are not well developed, and therefore it didn’t seem realistic at all. Everything seemed very one dimensional and flawed.
Overall, I think that many people might not even see the end of this movie because they find it too depressing, surreal, weird, and/or silly. Maybe you will manage to finish this film if you are a fan of Tom Holland. But for the rest of us this is definitely a big NO NO. Please go watch “Goodfellas” (1990) instead.
Directed by: Anthony Russo (directed by), Joe Russo (directed by). Writing Credits: Angela Russo-Otstot (screenplay by) and Jessica Goldberg (screenplay by), Nico Walker (based on the novel by)
Categories: Film Reviews Cat