By Shawn McKenzie 06/24/2002
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that makes you realize the importance of the music in it. Cherish is not one of those movies, but the music in it is very good.
By now, you are saying, “Huh?” Let me explain. I loved the music in Cherish, but for a movie where music played such an important role, the song choices were odd for the storyline.
Before I go on, let me give you the basic plot. Cherish is the story of Zoe (Robin Tunney), a woman who seems to go through life hooking up with one man after another with none of the relationships sticking. She fantasizes about a guy at work named Andrew (Jason Priestley, who is hilarious in a fantasy scene that Zoe has), but most of the people at work don’t really like her, especially her boss Brynn (rocker Liz Phair in her debut acting performance.) One night Zoe crashes a work get-together at a bar and hooks up with Andrew. She is ready for Andrew to drive her home, but wants to get her cell phone out of her car first. While at her car, she is forced to drive away from the bar by a guy who sneaks into her car. She is then forced to hit a bike cop with her car by her kidnapper. The kidnapper gets away, and Zoe is framed for murder. She is required to stay in an apartment with an electronic bracelet around her ankle until her trial starts. The bracelets are very restricting for Zoe, since she is slightly claustrophobic. The officer assigned to give her the bracelets is Daly (Tim Blake Nelson), a man who is frustrated with her attempts to escape and break the rules, but at the same time looks forward to each visit with her, since he is starting to become attracted to her. Besides Daly, the only other person she can talk to is Max, a gay wheelchair-bound midget who feels sympathy for Zoe, since he feels restricted by his wheelchair. While cooped up in the apartment, she must learn how to live alone and who framed her for the murder of the bike cop.
Aside from the obvious choice of the Association’s “Cherish” and the Turtles’ “Happy Together” during a scene where Daly is fantasizing about Zoe, the rest of the music in the movie just seems to serve as Zoe’s escape from her situation. Thematically, it doesn’t fit, since all of the music is from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, yet the movie takes place in the present. In a movie like The Big Chill, for example, the music served as a nostalgic reminder of the characters’ pasts. Aside from some creepy pictures taken by a stalker, there is no reference to the past or any flashbacks. As I said though, the music that is in the movie is cool. My girlfriend and I have even considered picking up the soundtrack.
The performances in Cherish are excellent. Robin Tunney (who my girlfriend told me looks like a 30-year-old version of “The Gilmore Girls” Alexis Bledel) has officially made up for the horrible job she did in Vertical Limit, one of the worst action movies ever put on the big screen. Tim Blake Nelson, who gave a great performance in the Coen Brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, is equally as good in this movie. He is able to portray convincingly a man who must balance his professionalism with his feelings for Zoe.
Check out Cherish for the cool music and the funny performances. There are parts of it that don’t make sense (I didn’t fully understand the end), but it is worth seeing this cute little indie comedy.
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