Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw) is about to graduate high school. She’s smart and capable and gorgeous. She also has an alcoholic mother (Lili Taylor) and an otherwise terrible home life. And a skeevy boyfriend who convinces her to pose nude for photos. She’s surrounded by winners, this girl.
After agreeing to do the photo shoot, she uses the money to run away to San Francisco with her best friend Andrew (Dev Patel) the one non-horrible person in her life. They get jobs—she’s a waitress at a strip club—and that’s how she meets Francis (James Franco).
Francis is wealthy and suave and cares for Angelina—he doesn’t lie about what she does when she meets his mother. Could she have met another non-horrible person?
Angelina meets Margaret (Heather Graham) who helps her get into the porn industry. Angelina has chosen the name Cherry by this point. She starts with soft core and fetish scenes, eventually graduating to a hardcore scene, which causes difficulties with her boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Margaret becomes increasingly attracted to Cherry, much to the consternation of her partner Jillian (Diane Farr). [Side note: they have one of the hottest lesbian sex scenes I’ve seen.] That attraction begins to effect Margaret’s work, as well as her personal life.
About Cherry was a little disjointed. There were several plots and subplots—perhaps too many—every character had their own problems. I applaud the writers (director Stephen Elliot and porn star Lorelei Lee) for trying to give the characters depth, but with a limited amount of time every character doesn’t need a full storyline.
Lili Taylor is incredible as ever—she’s definitely the bright spot, but she always is. There are some very true moments, but overall, the film is neither here nor there. The aforementioned scene between Graham and Farr was great, though.
Fun Fact: Working on this film is how James Franco learned about Kink.com, which eventually led to him producing the documentary Kink, which I’ve already reviewed. I’m pretty sure it’s also the film Lance Hart was referring to in his article on Cracked about things people don’t know about being a male porn star.
Bonus, sort of related fun fact: A Cracked article about being a lesbian porn star. Since I linked to what it’s like being a male porn star, it only seems fair to link this one, as well.