Wednesday, June 26, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 150


New film 'Cherish' too obscure to enjoy

By Geronimo Rodriguez
The Daily Cougar

It's easy to overlook what a filmmaker intends to do with a film when a shaky premise is combined with obscure scenes, not just for a few minutes, but for an entire film.

And after walking away from Finn Taylor's Cherish, all that's left is to trash the highly neurotic story of a young woman, her all but elusive monitoring bracelet, a county deputy whose job isn't worth its title and a shady character who, if weren't for him, no one would be in such a mess.

Unless Taylor, who wrote and directed the film, is stuck in an extensive multi-million dollar contract and will film anything to get out of it, no one would make such a dry film, much less get away with it.

In Cherish, Zoe, played by Robin Tunney, becomes fixated on ridding her ankle of an electronic monitoring device.

Photo courtesy of Fine Line Features

There are just too many moments in the movie where you want it to stop and give it a chance to start over. The laughs are rare and the acting is pathetic.

It follows Zoe, played by Robin Tunney, as she wears her ankle raw by jumping and climbing throughout her apartment to shake the isolated feelings she should have let out before it resulted in this. Instead she was satisfied with eavesdropping on co-worker's conversations, falling into a myriad of fantasies and escaping into her blaring headset.

The film attempts to get the heart pulsing with a mystery man whom, for some reason, has a thing for Zoe and decides to kidnap her. Things go wrong, a police officer gets run over, the stalker gets away without being noticed and poor Zoe is confined to her home until a court date.

From here, we're introduced to the county deputy, played by Tim Blake Nelson, who gets his teeth kicked in every once in a while and grows feelings for Zoe.

Midway through the movie, audiences witness Blake's character's desire to make a move, has seen the stalker destroy his apartment in a fit of rage and even has to consider the homosexual handicap who lives downstairs as Zoe's most fitting companion.

It isn't that Tunney is an unappealing actress, but it's that Taylor never focuses on any aspect of the story long enough for audiences to follow.

Even Zoe's lawyer, played by Nora Dunn, is hard to understand for the few scenes she appears.

Beverly Hills 90210's Jason Priestley and the music world's Liz Phair appear just enough for cameo credits in two of the least interesting roles.

In short, it's just a big mess of a movie that aims too far for originality and comes up something worse than empty-handed.

Maybe Finn Taylor is on the verge of creating a style so original that it's just too obscure to understand at the moment. If anything positive happens for this film, it could perhaps become the sleeper hit of the summer. Droves of moviegoers will line up at the local art houses to get a peak at what's to come of moviemaking. Maybe this film will create a buzz bigger than The Blair Witch Project. Thousands of aspiring directors will find a grungy apartment and get a couple of friends together, all wearing monitoring bracelets, and see how much they can accomplish without leaving the room.

A bunch of questions are raised when a movie this bad gets the green light and actually finds itself premiering alongside more quality films.

In this case, this critic just prays to the film gods that no one ever decides to emulate Finn Taylor's writing or directing style.


Rated R
Starring Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson
Fine Line Features

The verdict: This is by far, the worst film of both this year and the next.

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