Get ready to fall in love with one of the year?s most original films. Cherish is a roller-coaster romance about a woman accused of a crime she didn?t commit. Computer animator Robin Tunney (Vertical Limit, The Craft) beco... more »mes the victim of a bizarre kidnapping that ends in the death of a policeman. Placed under house arrest until the trial, she has only one chance to prove her innocence and catch the killer. But first?she has to find a way out of her apartment! Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Jason Priestley ("Beverly Hills 90210") and Brad Hunt (Hart?s War) co-star in this irresistible comedy about life, love, and getting locked up. With an energetic soundtrack featuring vintage music from the ?70s and ?80s, Cherish is a film you?ll treasure forever.« less
A fun, quirky romance that makes up for its flaws with charm
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie. The plot is summarized well in the other reviews, but I'll give a quick rundown: a socially awkward, lonely computer animator named Zoe (Robin Tunney), who tries to fill up her alone time by dating men who never call her back, crashes a party of co-workers at a local bar, has too much to drink, gets carjacked by a guy who's been stalking her, runs into and kills a police officer, and ends up under house arrest awaiting her trial, confined to her apartment by an electronic ankle bracelet. It's Zoe's worst fear: being confined with only herself as company. But once alone in her apartment, she transforms from a tentative, clingy woman who looks outside herself for approval into a charming, independent woman who finds her strength within. In the process, she forms a bond with her disabled downstairs neighbor and develops a romance with deputy Bill (perfectly played by Tim Blake Nelson), who comes to tend her ankle bracelet.This romance is the best thing about the movie. In the DVD commentary, the director (Finn Taylor) says the script originally didn't focus as much on the romance, but the chemistry between Tunney and Nelson was so good that he changed the movie to focus more on them. Many reviewers felt that the movie should have focused *completely* on that relationship, and on Zoe's inner development, instead of shifting gears into a thriller in the last 20 minutes, when Zoe runs around San Francisco trying to prove her innocence. This movie was also attacked by several reviewers for being "unrealistic," but let's face it, what movie *is* realistic? To me, the success of a movie rests not on its ability to be "true-to-life," but on whether it creates a cohesive, engaging world and draws you into it, and this movie does that. It's very much a lonely single-chick movie, the kind that when you're depressed you can just curl up and watch it while drinking merlot and eating Duncan Hines chocolate frosting straight from the can. If you're a sucker for movies like "Next Stop Wonderland" or "While You Were Sleeping," give this one a try--it draws you into a lonely young woman's world, invites you to ponder it along with her, and makes you think it can actually be fun and charming to be lonely and bemused about life, as long as you're as cute and gutsy as Robin Tunney or as wisely sardonic as Hope Davis.One of my complaints is that Tunney's transformation is initially sparked by changing her hairdo: one day she's a frizzy-haired frump, the next she's straightened her hair and discovered her inner bombshell. As one reviewer commented, the frizzy-haired Tunney is "Hollywood's idea of an ugly girl": a beautiful girl with glasses on. Thus her personal transformation is too easy, starting as it does from outside. I would like to have seen the same transformation without the hairdo, and without someone with as pretty a face as Tunney. It would have been more challenging, but more satisfying.Finally, the growth arc of Tunney's character isn't depicted all that well (despite Tunney's praise of that arc in interviews). Perhaps they were trying to be subtle: we are intended to simply guess that her growth was produced by all those months of crawling up the air shaft, little by little extending the boundary of her physical world, and at the same time that of her internal world. But we don't *see* that clearly enough; it doesn't unfold smoothly; during the time she's not climbing up the air shaft, she's mainly sitting still on a chair. Right up until the final 20 minutes, she's alternately flirting with Nelson, yelling at him for simply doing his job (there's a bit too much of the victim to her at times), or sniffling to him that she's innocent. The next day, she's suddenly running around the city, tough-talking and strong-arming people to get evidence to clear her name. It would've been more engaging to see her inner strength and confidence develop bit by bit with her trips up the air shaft, and be revealed in clearer ways: for example, if she started earlier (and with more determination) to find evidence to clear her name; found ways to deal with Nelson other than yelling, flirting, or sniffling (for example, if she surprised him with some persuasive argument for her innocence); or showed her new strength by planning an act of generosity for her downstairs neighbor, instead of the other way around.But all that said, it's still a fun hour and a half, and the look and the general mood of the movie sort of make you want to watch it again and again. There are amazing images and endearing scenes you'll remember long after the end. It's a good movie that can charm you into overlooking its various weaknesses."
Cherish is the word I use to describe (this movie)
Mark Twain | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cherish became one of my favorite films of 2002. The plot is refreshing and original--An eccentric woman named Zoe (Robin Tunney of The Craft and End of Days) accused of murdering a cop, goes under house arrest with the bracelet program (the bracelet on her ankle sets off an alarm if she tries to leave her apartment), and begins an unlikely romance with Bill (Tim Blake Nelson of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Good Girl), the lonely and lovestruck man who monitors the program. Finn Yaylor's directing is superb and the soundtrack of 80's music is absolutely fantastic. Add to that a supporting cast feauturing Jason Priestly (perhaps sending up his 90210 character?), Nora Dunn, and indie rocker Liz Phair, a suspenseful, edge-of-the-seat climax, plus a semi-shocking revelation, and you have a truly enjoyable, extremely memorable film. I loved it!!!!"
Completely charming. A great indie date flick.
Gorman Bechard | New Haven, CT USA | 12/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alfred Hitchcock once said you can make a film using a closet as its only location if you know what you're doing. Well, the loft that is the main location of CHERISH is a lot larger than a closet, but nonetheless the filmmakers use it perfectly. The viewer never feels as trapped as Robin Tunney's beautifully developed character Zoe. (One of the best understated performances of recent memory! Made me wish we saw more of this fine actress.) The set up is quick and to the point, getting us into the loft and Zoe's head. The cinematography is always inventive, the set design imaginative, costumes perfect, and the supporting players believably weird (and with a low budget, those are very high compliments). And did I mention the soundtrack? Wow! Not being a fan of cheesy 80s music, I was a little worried, but somehow it all works. (Anyone who can make good use of a Halls & Oates song has talent!) I first saw a preview for CHERISH while working on a movie in LA over the summer, but it opened the weekend we began filming, and I couldn't take it in. I watched it today (on its first day of DVD release), and wish now I had sucked it up, gave up a little sleep, and caught in in Santa Monica. CHERISH is easily on my top-10 list for best movies of 2002."
L.A. Scene | 01/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"love it...yes it does have it's corny moments..which I noticed *quite* clearly.....But over all it's a good one...the characters are charming...Zoe is so cute..a raspy..tough kind of cute..and I loved the soundtrack..this one is worth watchin"
One terrific film that went unnoticed
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes it doesn't take the big name Hollywood studio or the big name Hollywood star to make a very good movie. Such is the case with the movie "Cherish". "Cherish" is one of those films I happened to stumble on. I'd categorize "Cherish" as an "Indie" (independent) film. After watching the movie, I realized that this was one of the most entertaining movies I had seen in some time. In addition, the movie uncovers perhaps one of the best, yet unnoticed acting performances in recent years by Robin Tunney. I'm very surprised that Tunney did not go on to bigger and better things following "Cherish" because she delivers a performance that could have easily be Academy Award material.
In "Cherish", Tunney plays Zoe Adler. Zoe is someone who is basically socially inept and somewhat of an introvert. Zoe struggles with her lack of social skills both in the office (where she works as a computer animator) and in the social scene as well. She is also romanticist who loves 1970s and 1980s music and gets immersed in the songs of that era. Unknown to Zoe, she is being pursued and followed by a stalker (played by Brad Hunt) Zoe's life will change when the stalker finds Zoe going to her car to pick up her cell phone. The stalker takes Zoe hostage and forces her to drive. When a police officer discovers that something strange is going on in the car, the stalker takes control, runs down the police officer and kills him. Following the incident, the stalker leaves the scene and Zoe is left facing a homicide charge. While awaiting her trial, her lawyer arranges for Zoe to be put in the "Bracelet Program". This is a program that essentially places Zoe under house arrest and uses a bracelet to electronically track that Zoe stays indeed under house arrest. Once the house arrest begins, the story basically takes on three sub-plots:
1) The main subplot involves a transformation in Zoe's social ineptness. House Arrest places Zoe in an isolated mode where she is not allowed to leave her apartment. This forces Zoe to confront her introverted personality and a good chunk of the movie will focus on Zoe's attempts to break free of the bracelet program. This will result in a transformation from her socially inept personality to a bolder personality. This is where you will see Tunney shine. Tunney is completely believable in her portrayal of Zoe from beginning to end - from socially inept, through her transformation, to eventually demonstrating a bold personality.
2) The second subplot involves Zoe's relationship with police officer Bill Daly played by Tim Blake Nelson. Daly plays the officer responsible for monitoring Zoe in the bracelet program. To some extent, Daly also suffers from social ineptitude. At first Daly is frustrated by Zoe - in particular because she is trying to break free of the bracelet program. This results in Daly putting stiffer restrictions on Zoe in the program. However as the story unfolds, Daly eventually takes a liking to Zoe and develops feelings for her. Nelson does an admirable job playing Daly, but his performance is not as strong as Tunney's.
3) The third subplot involves Zoe's attempt to find out who framed her for the murder. This wraps around the other two subplots in that Zoe eventually finds an ally in Bill Daly while at the same time takes bold steps to prove her innocence. In a way, this completes Zoe's transformation from being a socially inept person. It is this subplot where the film reaches an exciting climax.
There are really two elements that contribute to this film - both audibly and visually. Director Finn Taylor deserves a lot of credit for integrating these elements into the film. From an audio standpoint, this film uses music perhaps as good as any film I have seen. The music will grip you and match up perfectly to the scenes. Perhaps the best example of this is when Zoe calls her missing cell phone and gets the stalker. The stalker responds by putting on the stereo and blasting Daryl Hall and John Oates' "Private Eyes" into the phone. The opening sequence (to the song "Cherish") is another good example of how music is integrated with a scene. From a video standpoint, one thing that really shines out is the setting for where Zoe is under house arrest. Zoe is confined to a large warehouse style apartment in a seedy part of San Francisco. The large warehouse apartment is the perfect setting for Zoe to battle her isolation for being under house arrest. Not only does the seedy section of San Francisco provide a great backdrop to the story, but the whole city provides one as well. Perhaps one of the best scenes of the movie is when Zoe "escapes" from her apartment to try to prove her innocence. There is a terrific scene of Zoe running through the streets of San Francisco to get back to her apartment before the bracelet monitoring catches her.
There are two "larger" name performers who have small roles in the movie. Jason Priestly has a very small role as Andrew, a man who Zoe takes an interest in. Pop singer, Liz Phair makes her film debut as Brynn - a woman who works in Zoe's office. However there is one other performance that stands out - Ricardo Gil. Gil plays Max - a disabled dwarf who lives downstairs in the same building as Zoe and befriends her. While Zoe can't go downstairs from her apartment, Max's disability prevents him from going up to see her - yet the two strike up a friendship.
This movie was released in 2002 and both the film and Tunney's performance went largely unnoticed in many circles. I've heard some complaints about the ending, yet I was satisfied with how the film wrapped up. This is a very good movie - and one that you certainly will watch multiple times."