COLUMN: “Cherry” the character driven movie the world needs


Ian Stoubaugh

Ian Stobaugh, Columnist

The majority of people know Tom Holland from his role as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ve only really known him for that role, but I remembered recently that he starred in another movie that sparked my interest. That movie is “Cherry,” and I didn’t know much about the plot going into it. All I knew was that it circled around a main character who was a drug addict, and I had heard that the acting was spectacular. 

Well, it turns out, it was. The entire movie was great. Even though it captured some really difficult topics, it did it well and in a realistic way. Some parts aren’t realistic, obviously, but it did better than a lot of movies. 

The plot centers around an unnamed character (commonly referred to online as Cherry) played by Tom Holland. The movie is split into chapters with each one being another chapter of his life.

At first, he starts out as an awkward college student who falls in love with a girl on campus. He gets into a relationship with her, and she reveals that she wants to move to Canada to study. On impulse, he signs up for the army to cope with her move. She ends up not going, but Cherry still goes into the military (though they get married before he leaves).

After getting deployed in Iraq as a medic, he comes back two years later with a case of severe PTSD. To cope, he starts using drugs, and in turn, his wife does as well. Because of his addiction and trauma, he has issues finding a job. Therefore, he ends up robbing banks to make ends meet, and eventually, he gets caught and sent to prison. However, he makes a recovery from his addiction in prison, giving the movie a happy ending after all. 

So, what’s so great about this movie? A lot of things, but I think the overall reason this movie is great is because of the immersion. The entire movie is through the main character’s lens. Yes, it’s shot in third person, but it’s extremely obvious. The lack of using his name makes the audience recognize that not only is he the main character, but he’s the one telling the story. He only really shares important information, and since he most likely doesn’t think about his own name too much, it’s taken out of his script. 

I think that it also shows that his story could happen to anybody. When he isn’t named, we don’t know who he is–we know his story, we know what he’s been through, but we don’t know who he actually is. It shows that he could be anybody around us, or a version of ourselves. It humanizes him, and it shows that drug addiction isn’t as simple and laid out as we usually think it to be. It also shows the realities of war, and the sides that a lot of us only think about and never see from a personal perspective. 

Despite being fictional, “Cherry” holds a lot of truth and volume to it. If you’re looking for a movie that feels stone-cold honest and makes you think, I couldn’t recommend it enough. The movie is available on Apple TV, and is about two hours long. It’s a tedious watch, yet so worth it. 


Ian Stobaugh is a freshman German major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].