DVD Release Date: September 22, 2017
Cherry Pop (2017) is a movie about a young man (Lars Berge) looking for his big break decides to take his chances as The Cherry at the Drag Club, Cherry Pop. Let us be clear, the narration and most of the acting in Cherry Pop are awful. There’s a delightful meta-fiction moment toward the end that is a stroke of brilliance, but mostly the narration is wooden and indicative of 80s porn (likely intentionally). A man strolls into the drag club looking for a break into the entertainment industry, but can he cut it with the big dogs? What about the first cherry on her last night? Lady Zaza (Patrick Holt a.k.a. Tempest Dujour), a Norma Desmond type, is struggling with depression over the loss of her life partner and spiritual anchor, Marchello.
The story of Cherry Pop takes place over the course of the evening. The Cherry arrives and is viewed with skepticism for his farm boy clothes and lack of baggage. If you liked Bob, the Drag Queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, he brings exactly the character and humor we saw throughout his winning season in the role of Kitten Withawhip (billed as Caldwell Ticue). I would put money on the idea that some of the lines spoken were directly quoted from the challenges. Still, Kitten is one of the more natural roles. He bothKitten conveys affection and concern for the outgoing Cherry and understanding for the challenges of the new Cherry, all on the edge of a sharp tongue. Detox (billed as Matthew Sanderson) plays White Chocolate, a tough queen who gets a lot of the more confrontational lines. White Chocolate is a partner act (in the backroom) with Blanquisha (Mayhem Miller), an ivy league drag queen. Balancing the cast diversity is a cardboard cutout Latin queen named Choriza (Miguel Sagaz).
Some of the issues addressed involve stock kneejerk reactions and general infighting. Allusia plays Delusia, an airheaded actress Queen that accidentally resolves conflict within the story. Latrice Royale (billed as Timothy Wilcots) plays an overeager fan named Terry. Royale is brilliantly funny in the role of front row fan. There’s mention of restraining orders but The Cherry Pop looks like the kind of dive bar that wouldn’t bother to help anyone enforce anything.
Probably the most conventionally natural actor of the cast is Misty Violet as Ariella. Ariella struggles with a mother (played wonderfully by Carmit Bachar) who does not quite understand that he is a drag queen and chooses to hear his boyfriend, Brendan’s (Henry Zaga), name as “Brenda.” Ariella bonds with The Cherry while balancing his own problem of hesitant boyfriend and overeager mother. Violet’s performance is authentic and heartfelt and while her character gets caught up in the moment, she and the new Cherry are able to connect bringing poignancy to a script that could have easily been all about the laugh out loud moments.
Cherry Pop runs a gamut of themes; love, loss, depression, bigotry. Ultimately we’re left knowing that there are good people in the world both supporting those they love and helping people through life’s tribulations, if perhaps not in the gentlest ways.
The lip sync music of Cherry Pop (Shayna Ferm and Wendy Jo Smith) is bawdy and fun. The Cherry’s piece seems an off choice for any drag bar but was executed credibly. Its impact on viewers perhaps a bit overblown but there is a need for suspension of disbelief throughout. The blooper reel that runs through the credits is hilariously funny.
Give Cherry Pop a shot, you may just like it.
Cherry Pop is available as a DVD and on Amazon Instant Video
|Actors||Caldwell Tidicue, Tempest DuJour, Detox Icunt, Lars Berge, Latrice Royale|
|Length||1 hour and 18 minutes|
|DVD Release||September 22, 2017|