Cherish  (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a spiffy little indie variation on an old Hollywood theme, namely "I'm innocent, but nobody believes me, so I have to do my own investigation".

Robin Tunney plays the office loser who has a crush on the company stud-boy. She gets drunk when she's out with him, he offers her a ride home, but she needs to get something from her car before she can leave. There is a mysterious man waiting for her in her car. The masked stranger forces her to drive, ignoring her protestations of drunkenness. When they are waved over by a police officer, the mystery man won't let Tunney comply. He reaches down, steps on the gas and causes the car to run over the officer. The car crashes, Tunney passes out, and she awakes behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of about 99%, a dead police officer, and no mystery man. Vehicular homicide.

Of course, nobody believes her story. To make it worse, there was an eyewitness who saw only Tunney in the car, because Mr Mystery was hunched over. Her own lawyer thinks she's lying, and advises her to go for contrition, a guilty plea, and a reduced sentence. In the time before her trial, her lawyer advises her to stay under house arrest rather than seek bail, since the time she spends in confinement can be counted as time already served when she is found guilty, since there is no possible defense.


  • Very brief nudity from Robin Tunney, whose breasts are seen from the side-rear

There we have our premise. She must find her own version of Dr Kimble's one-armed man, but she is in a loft apartment in a bad neighborhood wearing an ankle bracelet that will only allow her to move 57 feet from her telephone modem. She is not allowed to have a computer. How, then, can she find the bad guy? Hell, how can she even pass the time?

Reviews were mixed.

The film starts to sag a bit about 20 minutes into the plot, but it does manage to recover and create some dramatic tension about 20 minutes later, and manages to sustain it quite well for the rest of the film. Through a variety of plot contrivances, Tunney manages to get nine hours free from the electronic monitoring, and during that time she does a Lola Run through San Francisco in search of the proof she needs. Tunney and Tim Blake Nelson, as her monitoring warden, even manage to pull off a nerdy offbeat romance that is never quite consummated.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Commentary by writer-director Finn Taylor, actor Robin Tunney, and director of photography Barry Stone

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette

  • Deleted scene: Zoe Alone

  • Alternate ending

  • Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic (1.85) formats

I liked the film, but I have to warn you that the musical score is just dripping with irony. Think about the songs that were too crappy to be used in American Psycho. The title of the film is taken from the sappy 60's love song by The Association, and that's probably the best song you'll hear during the film. It seems that Tunney has a fascination with the songs that society has rejected, and that means you're going to hear Seasons in the Sun and Sister Goldenhair Surprise, and various other corny love songs from the 60s and 70s. The playlist comes pretty close to a complete reproduction of Dave Barry's bad song list. I was OK with the concept when they played the first two really bad songs, Cherish and Seasons in the Sun, despite the fact that they played the latter all the way through and even turned it into a dance routine. By the time they got to the fifth or sixth really bad wimpy-ass song, my cup was running over with irony, and I was longing to hear some real music.

The Critics Vote

  • General USA consensus: three stars. Ebert 3/4, Entertainment Weekly B-

  • The film was nominated for the Grand Jury prize at Sundance.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Voting results: IMDb voters score it a fairly respectable 6.5/10, and Metacritic users 6.2/10, but Yahoo voters are quite enthusiastic at 4.3/5,
  • It was a virtual write-off theatrically. $160,000 in 26 theaters. It deserved better. It has the potential to be a commercial film, but it just couldn't pick up the right deal. I wouldn't be surprised if it has a good run on home media.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, C+. If the plot sounds interesting to you, the execution is quite good. It held my attention throughout, except for a brief sag in the middle, despite the awful soundtrack.

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