There’s no such thing as going too far.
Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw) is an 18-year-old on the verge of finishing high school, rushing to escape her broken family life. After reluctantly taking nude photos at her boyfriend’s (Jonny Weston) behest, she takes the cash to skip town with her best friend (Dev Patel). Angelina gets a job cocktailing in a San Francisco strip club where she meets Frances (James Franco), an affluent lawyer who introduces her to a high-class world beyond her wildest dreams.
At the same time, Angelina begins exploring San Francisco’s porn industry, using the moniker Cherry, under the wing of a former performer turned adult film director (Heather Graham). But Angelina’s newfound ideal lifestyle soon comes apart at the seams. About Cherry challenges assumptions about sexuality and pornography, while addressing the common struggle of finding one’s role in life.
This bold debut film by author Stephen Elliott, a visual love letter to San Francisco, is the story of high school student Angelica (a mesmerizing Ashley Hinshaw), whose choices lead her from a depressing home life and dead-end job in Los Angeles to the fetish-filled Bay Area adult film world.
A stepfather with dark motives lurks in the background, as Angelica watches over her younger sister and questions her options. In memorable supporting roles are Festival favorite Lili Taylor as Angelica’s manic and opportunistic mother, Jonny Weston as her sexy but sleazy boyfriend and Dev Patel as best friend and much-needed nonsexual support.
The vibrant cast also includes James Franco as a coke-addicted attorney who spots Angelica in a strip club, and Heather Graham as a female porn director who launches “Cherry’s” adult film career with mixed feelings. A gritty and defiantly voyeuristic look at the life of a youth who never loses her innocence, even as she gyrates for the camera, Cherry captures a rare point of view, urging us to consider the delicate tension between body and self by focusing on society’s most sought after objects of desire.
Directed by: Stephen Elliott
Starring: James Franco, Heather Graham, Dev Patel, Ashley Hinshaw, Lili Taylor, Diane Farr, Elana Krausz
Screenplay by: Stephen Elliott, Lorelei Lee
Production Design by: Michael Grasley
Cinematography by: Darren Genet
Film Editing by: Michelle Botticelli
Costume Design by: Daniella Turner
Set Decoration by: Tyler Kowalski
Art Direction by: Christopher Gaw
Music by: Jeff Russo
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, including nudity, language and some drug material.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: September 21, 2012