Cheri DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
A very stylized cover for this movie that simply features Michelle Pfeiffer lounging.  It probably could have included Rupert Friend as well, since the story revolves around the two characters, but this is decent.

The menu is beautiful though.  Painted scenes from the period in France make this a unique type of menu, and it really adds to the flavor of the movie without being too ordinary.

Features: 2/10

  • Deleted Scenes – There are only two deleted scenes here.  They are both very short, and entirely unnecessary to the movie.  They honestly don’t add much in terms of any extra view into the movie as a deleted scene either.
  • The Making Of Cheri – In this making of feature, we get about 9 minutes of background into the movie itself.  We get information about the writer, as well as the costumes and how the movie was made to reflect the period in France.  Short, and decent, but with the deleted scenes, woefully inadequate extras.

The Movie: 6/10
Cheri is a different type of movie.  Based in France in the 1920’s, this movie is a period piece based on a book written by Collette.  The story revolves around Léa (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is a middle aged courtesan.  Léa is dealing with the realization that she is getting too old to be courting men, and while she has enjoyed the money and excesses that her affairs with noblemen have afforded her, the thought of getting old has left her in a introspective position.  Due to her being a courtesan, her circle of friends is rather small, due to society frowning on her decisions, and so she spends time with Charlotte (Kathy Bates) who was once her rival, and now nothing more than an acquaintance, and not necessarily a real friend.  Charlotte’s son Cheri (Rupert Friend) is burnt out on his life, with all of the partying and girls, and Charlotte asks Léa to console him.

The two, who are years apart in age as Cheri is only 19, leave for the country and soon become lovers.  While it starts out as a short distraction from their everyday lives, it evolves into a rather strange, working relationship, and the two fall hard for each other.

The pair end up spending six years together, until finally Charlotte arranges a marriage for Cheri to the very young Edmee, who we see is nothing like Léa.  The marriage is forced and we see the toll that it takes on both Léa and Cheri, as they are forced to deal with being apart.

Cheri was an interesting story, and the acting was pretty decent.  I was impressed with both Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend, and slightly disappointed with Kathy Bates as Charlotte, which felt a bit forced to me (and I love Bates normally, but it just seemed like a wooden performance).  The tension between Léa and Cheri is palpable, and the ending of the movie was sad and realistic, and really added bite to this slow drama.  Overall I thought Cheri was a decent movie, but it did not overly impress me or draw me in. 

Audio & Video: 7/10
The video for this standard DVD is quite spectacular.  I was very impressed with the low light shots, and while overall it has a very soft feel to the shots, it works very well.  Cheri is presented in 2.35:1 wide screen, and the transfer is quite nicely done.

The audio was very front heavy, and while it was in 5.1 Surround Sound, it was just adequate.  For this type of movie not much else is needed besides a clear dialogue, and this release does provide that.

Value: 4/10
I am not sure that this is a repeat view disc.  It is slow, and the story is pretty straight forward.  for a period piece it is beautiful, and the acting is overall pretty solid, but there is not much here to keep you coming back for more.  When I shell out money for a movie, I plan on watching it over and over again, and this was just not strong enough for me to say that I will pop it in the player any time soon.

Overall Score 5/10