Review: Cherry

When you’re doused in big budget, effect-heavy features week after week, it winds up being the simplest productions that really blow you away. Writer-director Jeffrey Fine’s newest film, Cherry, is just about as minimalistic as they come, but the results are huge. Cherry achieves a degree of empathy, entertainment and pleasure that most grander scale films never even come close to earning.

Aaron (Kyle Gallner) always plays by his parents’ rules. From the day he was born, they bred him to become an Ivy League student and the time has finally come for Aaron to pack his things, move into his dorm and begin his freshman year at a prestigious school. He’s there specifically for a top tier engineering program, but is also a talented artist, a skill his parent don’t condone pursuing. He opts to take a drawing class as an elective anyway and that’s where he meets Linda (Laura Allen), a much older student who takes a liking to him. A coffee date leads to a dinner date and that’s when Aaron is sure it’s finally going to be his lucky night. The problem is, not only does he discover Linda has a 14-year-old daughter, Beth (Brittany Robertson), but a cop boyfriend, too.

All hope isn’t lost. Sexual tension still exists between Aaron and Linda, but now there’s some between Aaron and Beth as well. Well, most of that tension comes straight from Beth who’s far beyond her years and has no problem telling everyone exactly what she thinks. Even while being pulled in both directions, Aaron nestles into the family quite nicely, so much so his peers take notice of his absence, he isn’t performing well in class and worst of all, his mother demands to know what’s going on.

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