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Cherish
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Cherish Review

Directed By: Finn Taylor.
Starring: Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson, Nora Dunn, Jason Priestley, Brad Hunt.

Synopsis: Zoe Adler is a twenty something love-starved animator who's running away from herself and reality. She compulsively avoids being home alone and spends countless hours listening to KXCH "Cherish" radio, losing herself in a syrupy romantic fantasy of 1970s and 80s pop songs. When she manages a three-martini cocktail with the object of her latest obsession bad luck strikes. She is hijacked in her car by an apparent stalker...the ride gets out of control and she hits a policeman. The stalker escapes and Zoe is unfairly incarcerated in the electronic bracelet program and trapped in her apartment for months. With only reclusive bracelet officer Daly (Tim Blake Nelson)to provide uneasy company, Zoe sheds her rose-colored glasses and finds a new meaning for love and self-worth and finally begins to take control of her life.

The script is messy, and some of the direction is (I believe intentionally) misleading but the performances, Tim Blake Nelson and Robin Tunney, work hard to make up for these mistakes. Unfortunately Tunney and Nelson can only achieve so much, and when the story reaches what should be its pinnacle it seems false and rather flat.

However, these two performances...while Tim Blake Nelson gives a rather off-kilter and unbelievable cadence to his character in Minority Report he more than balances it with this quiet, shy and very repressed character Daly. Robin Tunney gets to be more than just a lead in this film, she gets to have a showcase for Hollywood to show off her range, her style, her extreme looks of filthy and tomboyish to freshly scrubbed and pretty, to downright vampy in other scenes.

The performances not withstanding, it is a movie more of fleeting moments than of a complete, cohesive and intriguing storyline. The film really only comes alive when these two characters are forced to talk and deal with each other because of their situations. He, changing her ankle bracelet while Zoe slowly builds a trust with him. Aside from that, little friendships that form with her 'gay, jewish, crippled' neighbour and neighbourhood kids seem a little too pat and perfect, very one-dimensional.

Perhaps the director/writer Finn Taylor (Dream With The Fishes - 1997) would have been better to focus more on the relationship between these two than wandering off on tangents that seem, in retrospect, to distract and at times, negate the actions of the characters.

One last positive note before I head off...for film soundtrack fans...this one has a lot of tunes worth checking out...a be all/end all for the stalker who needs some 80's tune to get through his or her day.

Worth watching for the performances but if you're neither a fan of Tunney's or Tim Blake Nelson (and if you haven't watched him in O Brother, Where Art Thou? then shame on you) then skip this flick. 2 Stars out of 5.

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Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul



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