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The Education of a College Virgin in Cherry

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Cherry
Directed by Jeffrey Fine
Opens November 5, Village East

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Jeffrey Fine’s Cherry is as ungainly and unkempt as its teen protagonist, Aaron Milton (Kyle Gallner), a 17-year-old college freshman struggling to balance his engineering coursework with the burden of losing his virginity. Matters are complicated by the fact that he’s become romantically involved with both a 30-year-old woman (Laura Allen) and her 14-year-old daughter (Brittany Robertson). Full of nondescript, purely functional camerawork and dialogue that states the characters emotions, Fine’s promising but underdeveloped drama follows a boy’s journey to becoming a man (and avoids any controversy by making Aaron under-18). Coming of age in this case means learning that sex isn’t everything. This pat lesson is driven home in a bizarre extended metaphor that equates sexual education with walking on water. Admittedly, teen boys do tend to think highly of their amorous skills, especially when untested, but what roles Christ and engineering have in the boudoir remains unclear. If nothing else, Gallner delivers an especially memorable performance as Aaron. His flushed, ruddy cheeks and persistent sour pouting are exactly what the role needs.

 
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