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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the life of a girl named Cherry
About Cherry is a pretty sad movie, I think. Not sad in the usual way, though. It's about a girl played by Ashley Hinshaw that enters the porn business because she's looking for a successful career choice as well as a way to make some quick and easy cash. Working in porn -depending on the photo or movie shoot- can reward the actress anywhere from $500-1,000. To a young...
Published 16 months ago by B. E Jackson

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half-baked Cherry Pie
Ashley Hinshaw is very attractive, whether in clothes or otherwise. This fact goes along way toward making this movie enjoyable. However, not enough. The problem is that the movie is more of an idea than a worked out story. The idea behind the film is that people who work at disrespected jobs (i.e. porn stars) are actually more kind, loving and honest and, therefore, are...
Published 12 months ago by the fine reverend besotted


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the life of a girl named Cherry, May 6, 2013
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About Cherry is a pretty sad movie, I think. Not sad in the usual way, though. It's about a girl played by Ashley Hinshaw that enters the porn business because she's looking for a successful career choice as well as a way to make some quick and easy cash. Working in porn -depending on the photo or movie shoot- can reward the actress anywhere from $500-1,000. To a young aspiring young actress, that's a LOT of money. She can't resist. We see the part that I was most curious about- when she first walks into a porn studio and fills out the job application. I've always had a curiosity what kind of questions they ask the girl... and as I'd feared, they're pretty blunt and direct sexual-related questions. Still, it's not enough to discourage Ashley to just walk away. She continues on.

Unfortunately the actress in this movie doesn't realize that what she's doing is widely considered inappropriate to everyone in her life. Her friends, mom, boyfriend... they all want to drill the message into her head that what she's doing is disgusting and wrong, and that when surrounded by people who care deeply about her, she shouldn't be doing it. These people appreciate Ashley for who she is but... she apparently doesn't realize it. She's so determined to become a legitimate actress plus getting a generous paycheck for participating in the sexual acts, that she doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks. She's unaware that the people who care about her don't agree with her career decisions. The boyfriend screaming "It's DISGUSTING!" during one particular scene is a highlight. He says it over and over again to the young girl so intensely, that she tears up and basically freezes, unsure how to respond. There's also a pretty good amount of time devoted to Ashley and a man she meets at a part time strip club job.

The good news is that Ashley definitely has a lot of emotion and cares deeply for others so if you think she spends her time in About Cherry totally clueless and being treated solely as a sex object, guess again. However when it comes to her career, she seems to turn a blind eye to reality and progresses forward. Maybe that's what real porn actors and actresses do when it's time to film a photo shoot, and how they've managed to make a name for themselves. They just *do* it without feeling anything that might prevent them from going through with it.

The movie sort of changes as it rolls along and focuses on one of the women that works with Ashley's character (played by Heather Graham). She's an older woman that happens to have a girlfriend of her own, and the storyline -for whatever reason- shifts to focusing on Heather and the relationship troubles she experiences with her girlfriend. I find this somewhat odd since the movie worked so hard with Ashley Hinshaw's character. Also the ending... it's bad. It basically goes against what I thought was going to happen for one thing, but even worse, it never touches upon a conclusive element pertaining to the people in Ashley's life (her mom, friends and boyfriend). We needed to know MORE. Without spoiling the ending, the scene before the credits roll just... seems completely not right. It feels incomplete.

While I agree with the other reviews that it seems odd how Ashley never even tried to search for another more respectable job, you have to remember when you're young and just graduated high school, you fall victim to how overwhelmingly confusing the world can be at that young age, so an opportunity to make easy money in a porn business doesn't seem so outrageous or far-fetched given the circumstances. Your perception at that age is focused more on succeeding in any way possible so you can feel secure and independent, and have the power to take care of yourself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half-baked Cherry Pie, September 17, 2013
This review is from: About Cherry (DVD)
Ashley Hinshaw is very attractive, whether in clothes or otherwise. This fact goes along way toward making this movie enjoyable. However, not enough. The problem is that the movie is more of an idea than a worked out story. The idea behind the film is that people who work at disrespected jobs (i.e. porn stars) are actually more kind, loving and honest and, therefore, are more respectable human beings than are people who work at socially respectable jobs (i.e. lawyers).

Obviously, this is not particularly true. So, the film maker chooses to bore his audience by overly focusing on the tedious background of the characters. He spends 40 of the 105 minutes on the "set up" before getting to the story proper. This is done in the apparent hope that delaying the action will signify he is portraying "reality" rather than making "fantasy". That hope, however, fails as the movie itself is basically an adult fairy tale.

Which is to say that, except for "Cherry", none of the characters are particularly developed and none has his/her own storyline. In fact, each of them is more a stereotype than an individual person. You have the "always angry, always drunk hulking father who might just have incestual desires for his daughter" (seen him in so many films but never in true life), the "drunken mother who cannot take care of herself, let alone her family, and so is always emotionally manipulative" (again, so common in films and almost always paired with the "angry father" giving us the classic insight that male=brute and female=manipulator), the "shy male best friend who secretly pines for the girl who, in turn, treats him as if he were castrated" (a necessary character in every teen romantic comedy, see Jon Cryer as "Ducky" in "Pretty in Pink" from the 80s), and the "charming successful lover who actually is a spoiled rich kid at heart full of self-pity at having to give up his dreams to appease his family's honor" (isn't there always a charming rich guy who turns out to be a jerk in every romantic comedy, say Bradley Cooper's character in "Wedding Crashers").

Then, you have "Cherry".

"Cherry" - like "Snow White" - is pure as the driven snow, forever loving and sweet despite her unpleasant upbringing. She has no dark side. Just loveliness, a nice rack and booty, and a willingness to sell her sexuality for profit. She is that ultimate male fantasy, the "virgin whore" - an innocent who brings hope and joy to whomever she meets, particularly when she meets them in bed. Unfortunately, this means that she also does not have ambition, greed, jealousy or any other "sour" emotion which might "pollute" her (and, otherwise, make her into an interesting character). Of course, unambitious people generally do not succeed in life. Fortunately for Cherry, she lives in film fairy tale land and, so, despite her lack of ambition she is still able to magically succeed by staying true to her dream of making it in the sex trade. Unfortunately for her, everyone else in her life has been "damaged" by their willingness to "sell out" on their dreams and, otherwise, "conform" so they can be seen as "socially respectable". So, the "great insight" of the movie is that such inauthentic persons, because they live reputedly "respectable" lives, often "look down" on authentic people like Cherry out of envy and spite.

That moral, however, is confounded.

First, Cherry is actually no different from the other characters. In fact, it was not Cherry's dream to become a porn actor. That happened to be the most profitable choice for her to make since she has a limited education. Fortunately for her, she had a pretty face and a smoking body. Otherwise, working at Taco Bell was her choice. Similarly, the other characters made choices which were to their profit at the time but which they may now regret. To the extent that Cherry doesn't regret being a porn actor, that is because she has just started at it and so hasn't had time to know if it meets her long-term needs. Additionally, her "personality" is portrayed as always "sunny" - so her lack of bitterness is not because of her choices but innate to her as a person. Simply put, she is not - as the film would like to imply - "living her dream" and, therefore, living an "authentic" life. She decided to screw men in front of a camera to make her rent, not because she refuses to "sell out".

Second, without judging the morality of porn, its social value is extremely limited (which is not to say it doesn't have a great human value, given that apparently over one-half of internet searches are for nude pictures). If it is an art form, it is a very minor one since it primarily is used to cause sexual arousal. No one watches a porn for its story nor is watching porn a profound artistic experience. In point of fact, I've seen all of the so-called "artistic" porns from the 70s, such as "Deep Throat" and "Behind the Green Door". None is as remotely insightful regarding human nature and society as is this movie and this movie is only adequate as a work of art when compared to you average Hollywood film.

Now, the counterpoint in the film are two lawyers who are lovers of porn industry workers. Each lawyer judges the porn worker. The film implies this is wrong since each person is doing what they have chosen to do and one human's choice is no better than another human's choice. Of course, we don't live as individual humans but as humans within a society (In example, it is a federal crime to say you are thinking of killing the President, but no such crime is committed if you state you are thinking of killing me. Each human may be equally as valuable as the next, however, in society some humans have more value. Which is to say, we live in a social world, not in a human(e) world).

Unlike porn, justice is foundational to society and, therefore, like it or not a lawyer will be viewed as more essential to society than a porn actor. People are not kind. Unless and until porn is shown to have a significant social value, people will always value a person in the law profession as more important than a person in the porn industry and, accordingly, it is not surprising that a lawyer would value himself higher than a porn actor. To state this stereotypical valuation is unfair on a human level (rather than a social level) is obvious - yet this is the "big insight" of this movie.

Third, the "Cherry" character is hypocritical. One of the primary messages of this film is that porn is just as worthy a profession as the legal profession. Fair enough. If so, however, then Cherry's reaction to Andrew's viewing of pornography puts the lie to that claim. Andrew is the aforementioned "male best friend". He has loyally supported Cherry throughout the movie and supported her porn career even though he loves her. Despite knowing men watch porn videos to become sexually excited, Cherry feels she has been unforgivably betrayed by Andrew when she discovers him sexually aroused while watching one of her videos. In other words, the ultimate message is that Cherry wants her "freedom" to express herself pornographically but does not want to "suffer" the reality that porn is not art but a means to an end for most men. So, she too is inauthentic since she lies to herself about the emotional consequences of choosing to make pornography. In sum, if she truly is proud of her life choice then she should be proud that Andrew is using her work for what everybody knows it is used - to jerk off.

Even worse, she uses this "betrayal" to cast Andrew out of her life and start shacking up with a rich porn producer she barely knows. Not nice - yet we are suppose to sympathize with Cherry and cheer on her "successful" relationship with this barely known producer. Happy ending all around. High five! Except it's all forced as are the expected reactions throughout the movie since everyone in the porn industry is just "sweet as pie" and everyone working at a socially acceptable job is just a "bitter (self-righteous) pill".

Reality is three-dimensional and grey. When something is portrayed in a stereotypical manner as if every person and situation is metaphorically either black or white, it is propaganda. While it tries to hide its intent, this film has no interest in portraying a grey world. The people in its world are portrayed in a black or white manner. I don't know about you, but I watch a movie to be entertained, not to be preached to. This movie too often preaches - and not in a good way.

On a final note, casting James Franco as a successful attorney is terrible casting. A successful attorney may be a jerk, however, he won't be moody and sulking. Mr. Franco loves to brood, to have "soulful eyes". You don't make it in a highly competitive profession, such as law, by being brooding or "soulful". Perhaps the film maker realized the character was essentially a stereotype and believed he had to cast against type to give "reality" to the stereotype. If so, he failed. Casting Mr. Franco marred this film.

Dev Patel was able to bring the "Andrew" character to life. Which is notable given how limited the character obviously was on paper. The movie would have been twice as good if his character had been developed rather than left to be the stereotypical "loser nice-guy friend".

Ashley Henshaw was solid, however, she lacked the capacity to provide complexity to "Cherry". She seemed to like playing the innocent slut too much and never realized that doing so left the character a piece of fiction rather than a reflection of real life. Still, she was quietly effective in many scenes - particularly when she watches her first boyfriend celebrate with his buddy once he has talked her into posing nude for the first time. She brought more than just line reading to the character. Very promising.
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62 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Need an Easy Friend, August 9, 2012
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I have no idea what it is like for a up and comer in the porn industry, but I imagine it would be a lot like this story...assuming you're half as beautiful as Ashley Hinshaw. The kind of beauty that makes it painful to watch her be with someone else allowing the viewer to empathize with those who are hung out to dry.

The acting is good and so is the story. For a movie with these actors I was surprised (pleasantly) at how far they were willing to go with the sexual content. I do hope you check this movie out, I do.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Many Flaws", June 12, 2013
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This review is from: About Cherry (DVD)
This is a kind of amateurish film, with very poor character development. In fact, we only really get to know the female lead. In contrast, portrayals of the mother, father, boyfriend and sister are empty and shallow. While there is some hint of incestuous abuse early on, this thread is cut off with no follow-up. As for the pornography, it consists primarily of some topless shots and what might be called " dirty talk." A number attractive women are also shown kissing each other. Some males also do the same. The only bright spot in this production is the physical beauty of the female lead. The ending is kind of amorphous and the acting is sometimes hysterical--as marked by over-the-top emotional outbursts. Watching this film probably won't hurt you, but I don't believe that you'll get much it of it either. For those viewers that do happen to enjoy it, consideration might be given to the very similar movie,"Starlet".
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing About Cherry, May 21, 2013
You would think from the title that you would learn something ABOUT Cherry. But you don't. Except for one cartoonish scene that lets you know her mother drinks and her father yells, there's zero insight into this or any other character here. Also, if making a movie about porn, why not throw in more than one brief topless scene... it might make it convincing. This is Lifetime Channel fare.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Derived but Believable., February 9, 2013
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The movie does a fine job of taking you from movie to reality, performances in this are very subdued and in that very well played. It conveys, for the most part, the dulled hits and emotions that we experience in life, delivering no great surprises nor any true redemption for the characters, their redemption is nothing more than life goes on, for some better for some worse. The flaw, if there it can be called that, is that the film is too sympathetic toward it's main character, especially her relationship toward the neutered and permanently friend-zoned male toy she drags about with her and then ultimately verbally and emotionally castrate for daring to have feelings for her. As this is very accurate behavior for most women, I hesitate to call it a flaw, but do call the fact that the movie wants us to sympathize with her rather than him a flaw. Overall it is a bit too in love with its main character who is a narcissist out of necessity for self preservation, but a narcissist none the less.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, June 1, 2013
This review is from: About Cherry (DVD)
found About Cherry while surfing through On Demand. I'll turn a movie off after ten minutes if it sucks, but I watched this through to the very ending, which was beautiful in its simplicity.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sucked., June 24, 2014
How can a movie about porn be this boring? Yet somehow it is.

I didn't really learn anything from it either, except that porn girls are really immature and self-centered.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "About Cherry" explores the porn lifestyle, July 24, 2013
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This review is from: About Cherry (DVD)
I wasn't sure if I was going to like "About Cherry", but after viewing the DVD version I was very pleased with having taken the time to sit down and watch it. The performances are top notch and the story is moving. "Cherry" represents many young, troubled girls who find their way into the porn business and alternative sexual lifestyles. On some levels, the movie is graphic, raw, and disturbing, yet on other levels you see that the adult film industry is much like any other business with workers coming from varied income and racial backgrounds, but all in search of a living and perhaps a little humanity. It may not have been the intention of the filmmaker, but I came away more enlightened, seriously rethinking my own judgmental Christian view of why pornography exists. In the end, the main character "Cherry" finds a new life with some hope for the future; for her, it's a harbor of security and tenderness that I couldn't find fault with. Even in the porn business there are good people just trying to make a living (of course, the shadow cast across the industry is the fact that a lot of workers are being exploited, although to be fair to the facts, not all performers are; bringing these workers "out of the shadows" with trade bargaining rights and health care options might be a good step to adding some dignity to the profession). Considering the billions of dollars generated by the adult trade worldwide, it's a major, albeit largely underground, economic sector that is simply not going away; better to understand it and come to terms with its reality.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even The Porn Industry Doesn't Deserve A Movie This Bad..., December 3, 2013
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Your Role Model (from parts unknown) - See all my reviews
Pretty awful, despite Heather Graham (playing a porn director) gamely trying her level best to rescue this mess.

'About Cherry' is a surprisingly boring, inauthentic film about a young woman entering the porn industry. But, as shown here, somehow the porn industry is not especially interesting... nor is the lead character, a 'surface-nice' but very self-involved girl who goes by the name Cherry (Ashley Hinshaw).

Cherry apparently 'wants to have her cake and eat it too'... i.e. make easy money as a porn actress, while self-righteously expecting that everyone will still completely respect and support her without question. This, despite any moral objections anyone might have about how the porn industry exploits women, presumably, something that Cherry never seems to grapple with.

This makes Cherry look clueless and naive at best, and a dumb bunny at worst. It would've been much more interesting if she'd seen and fully acknowledged the drawbacks, while 'still doing what she had to' for reasons of economic survival and calling her own shots... which are compelling reasons to work in porn, actually. But that would've required a better script, and some more-demanding acting from Hinshaw.

Worse, the film largely wastes the talents of two very strong actors, Dev Patel and Lilly Taylor, as Cherry's best friend and absentee mother, respectively. Taylor's (brief) appearance is momentarily interesting, but doesn't really change anything, and Patel is given little to do but play out an incredibly predictable cliche of a character... the doormat-best-friend who secretly has a crush on Cherry.

The film also inflicts a howlingly bad performance by James Franco on us, as a 'nice guy' who later turns out to be a mean-spirited, judgemental cokehead (yes, you heard that right: a judgemental cokehead). The character is ultimately just there to be one more jerk that's 'trying to hate' on Cherry, and Franco just doesn't have the chops to make this two-dimensional jerk interesting or relatable in any manner. Not that this is anything new for him, Franco is continually out of his depth even in well-written serious roles, and this is not one of those.

Heather Graham comes into the picture as perhaps the only fully-realized character (aside from Taylor's), a lesbian porn director in a dead-end relationship with a lover who doesn't respect her. She recognizes Cherry's 'potential' immediately, and also begins to fall in love with her (paging Mrs. Robinson). It's interesting to see her interactions with Cherry, as Graham correctly displays her feelings by 'being the adult' and trying not to look enamored (mostly), in the same manner drunks always give themselves away by trying so hard to look sober.

Oh, and the lead, Ashley Hinshaw, as Cherry? Well, she's certainly gorgeous enough, and her acting chops are actually decent by former-Abercrombie-and-Fitch-model standards, but her performance still lacks the depth and complexity the role really cries out for. Not that even a young Meryl Streep could've rescued this script and the ham-handed direction. But absent that kind of 'rising above the material', Cherry in the end comes across as immature and overly self-involved, which isn't the stuff porn heroines are made of. I guess the film is realistic in that matter, if not much else.

The climax of the movie (no pun intended) involves Cherry angrily casting her best friend (Patel) out of her life for daring to watch and be aroused by some of the porn she stars in (why? what did she expect the films she starred in would be used for, pre-med anatomy classes?).

It's an astoundingly hypocritical scene that rings completely hollow. Cherry demands empathy, understanding and acceptance from those around her, but displays little herself. It also identifies the real villain of the film... the terrible, shallow, hackneyed script that seems only to be able to bray, repeatedly, "Porn girls good, everyone else baaaaaad." Not surprisingly either, as the script was co-written by porn star Lorelei Lee. This, however, does not explain how the other half of the writing team, author/director Stephen Elliott, could miscalculate so badly. A little more 'tough love'/editing could've done wonders here, mating Lee's inside knowledge of the industry with, well, some grown-up sensibilities.

Pass on this. If you're looking for an interesting window into the reality of the porn industry, this isn't it, and if you're looking to be titillated, most anything on Skinemax or Showtime's late-night schedule will do a better job of that.

Props again to Heather Graham for soldiering through the carnage and coming out the other side as perhaps the only person in the film with her dignity left intact. But again, no one could've saved this movie.
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About Cherry
About Cherry by Stephen Elliott (DVD - 2013)
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