Monday, June 20, 2005

Cherish (2002)

A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005

Too many times interesting ideas become sorry excuse for the mediocrity of Hollywood “high concept” movies. Occasionally, same phenomenon can be observed in independent low-budget films like CHERISH, 2002 comedy written and directed by Finn Taylor.

Protagonist of the film is Zoe (played by Robin Tunney), San Francisco office worker who tries to improve her miserable love life by fuelling it with alcohol any time she goes out. One night, upon return from a brief date, mysterious man kidnaps her and takes her car, which results is a traffic incident leaving one policeman dead. Carjackers runs away, leaving Zoe to face vehicular manslaughter charges. Her attorney manages to get her out of jail and arranges that she awaits trial in house arrest, having an electronic bracelet, regularly maintained by kind-hearted police technician Daly (played by Tim Blake Nelson), at her ankle. Zoe must never leave her apartment and that becomes a problem when the mysterious man starts to stalk her. Zoe now must find a way to escape and find the evidence that would clear her name.

CHERISH had everything a successful low budget film should have – simple but brilliant idea that was made for low budget films, very good and diverse cast, excellent 1980s pop soundtrack and plenty of quirky characters and situations. Unfortunately, Finn Taylor forgot to connect all of those elements into a coherent whole. The most important reason why the film ultimately fails is the decision to make it not as a thriller, but as a comedy. The problem is in Taylor not having enough sense of humour to make the jokes funny, while the “serious” sections of the film look too odd to be taken seriously. Although fans of Robin Tunney – who shows enormous talent in difficult in ultimately thankless role – and 1980s pop music will like this film, the rest of the audience will, at the best, see CHERISH as nothing more than interesting failure.

RATING: 4/10 (+)


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