Directed By: Finn Taylor
Written By: Finn Taylor
Produced By: Mark Burton, Johnny Wow
Cast: Brad Hunt, Robin Tunney, Jason Priestley, Liz Phair, Tim Blake Nelson
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes
Review Date: July 16, 2010
Every one of us imagines a better life: with a certain significant other, a job or other material possession (cars, apartments, clothes, etc.). In Cherish, we follow Zoe (Robin Tunney) who consistently daydreams about such things. Often these, daydreams mesh with her reality, leaving the viewer a bit confused about if what’s happening is in Zoe’s head or the real world. This will leave you daydreaming about the ending of this movie and hoping it will be quick and swift. The story drags on, and just when a character is about to come into his own, he disappears from the screen and plot altogether.
The film opens with a stalker character continually following and snapping photos of Zoe. What’s a bit confusing about this is why Zoe blows kisses and hams it up for the camera. At any rate, this man hounds Zoe’s every move. After finally jumping into her car while she’s driving, he makes Zoe crash the vehicle, killing a police officer. Stalker man flees the scene, leaving a dazed Zoe to deal with the homicide charge.
Zoe talks her way into house arrest instead of prison while awaiting her trial. She proves to us what can be done within a 57-foot radius, including climbing through passages in the walls, rollerskating, dropping water balloons on unsuspecting kids, and befriending her downstairs neighbor, Max (Ricardo Gil), who happens to be wheelchair-bound.
I really enjoyed Max’s character and the fact he, too, was confined to the home, but in a completely different manner than Zoe. He ends up becoming her errand boy, something few people in wheelchairs probably experience. Max acts as Zoe’s little sage, making sure she’s still checked in with the world outside of her 57-foot bubble.
Aside from Max, the only other character worth mentioning is Daly (Tim Blake Nelson), Zoe’s parole officer. Daly continually pays visits to Zoe to ensure her house arrest bracelet is working and that she hasn’t yet escaped. Naturally, they begin to develop a chemistry. When you’re isolated at home, even an uptight parole officer who is dry as the desert can seem appealing. Naturally, Zoe begins to fall for him and replaces her daydreams with her infatuation with him.
From here, the movie is highly predictable and insanely impossible (one of those “only in the movies” sequence of events). A lot of potential exists in the script and the stalker/thriller aspect, but the movie never delivers.
The soundtrack of the film is fantastic, with ’70s and ’80s music littering every scene. It’s a welcome bit of familiarity in a plot so unreal. Today, few of us can move throughout the day in silence. We’re plugged in with our iPods and iTunes, ensuring we never have a glimmer of silence throughout the day. Zoe makes do with her Walkman and music, the only thing any of us can relate to in this film (unless you are a stalker — in that case, you might relate to a few other aspects of the film).
Hanna Soltys is a green tea drinker and film critic living in Chicago.