Cherry (film)

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Cherry
Cherry poster.png
Directed byChloe Robinson
Written byChloe Robinson
Based onCherry
by Chloe Robinson
Produced byChloe Robinson
StarringAmber Reed
Kit Darton
Music byEmile Jo Wilson
Release dates
Running time
85 minutes
CountryEstmere
LanguageEstmerish

Cherry is a 2022 Estmerish drama independent film written and directed by Chloe Robinson in her directorial debut, based on her short story of the same name. It stars Amber Reed as the eponymous Cherry and Kit Darton as John. The musical score was recorded by Emile Jo Wilson. The film follows John's meeting with Cherry, revealed to be his future self, as the two discuss life and grapple with John's self-hatred and repressed gender dysphoria. The film premiered at the 83rd iteration of the Montecara Film Festival on 22 October 2022, and is set for a global theatrical release in October 2023.

Plot

John (Darton) is a young man who has just finished college. In the first winter of his gap year prior to university he decides to walk his usual route to college out of bordem. On this walk he notices that someone he doesn't quite recognise is following him from a distance. After he clocks her, she approaches him and introduces herself as Cherry (Reed), already knowning John's name and telling him they have a lot to talk about.

Cherry takes John to a hipster café called The Grind, where she orders a green tea and John orders a black tea. Cherry reveals to John that she is his future self, and after some initial confusion he accepts this fact after Cherry shows him old family photos that she only knows the significance of due to sharing the same memories. One of the photos is from their fifth birthday, a repressed memory in which they were chastised by their mother for playing with stereotypically-feminine toys that their father had bought them. This led to an argument which John believes led to their parent's divorce. Having accepted that Cherry is the future version of himself, John asks how she could be here, and Cherry explains time travel. She explains that, essentially, the basics of time travel are comparable to the ontological theory of social constructionism, and that collaborative consensus is important in establishing laws of physics: so much so that it can allow for time travel. John admits that this goes over his head; Cherry tells him he'll understand later.

John asks Cherry if the reason she travelled back in time was to force him to transition sooner, but Cherry tersely replies that the decision lays with him, she merely wanted to present him with the option; because they spent so long trying to figure themselves out, and so long avoiding the question. She wanted to give him the push to start answering. She says that it's nothing so important as though the fate of the universe relies on him answering the question, but that they deserve happiness, and answering that question one way or another is one way of getting there; "cliché as I know we both think this sounds, [happiness] comes from the heart". Cherry apologies for getting emotional and giving a big speech, but John smiles and says that's one of the things he loves about 'us'. Cherry/John muse in their head that that was one of the first times in a long time that they had given themselves a complement, but that it was not the last.

Cast

Amber Reed (left) and Kit Darton (right).

Production

Release

Reception

Critical reception

Writing for the The Chartist, Annie Kendall gave the film five stars, dubbing it an "emotional masterpiece". She also said that the character of Cherry is a "clever deconstruction" of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype: "instead of serving to motivate a male character through romance, Cherry in a very real sense serves to motivate herself". Abigail Kynd of The Standard gave the film five stars, stating that the film is "an emotional adventure into those conversations we wish we could have with our past selves", adding that the occassional humour "never detracted" from the emotional tone of the film, but "punctuated" it. Q-Times, an LGBT+ magazine, praised the film's exploration of gender identity and gender dysphoria, and the casting of a trans woman in the leading role.

Accolades

References