Authentic stories about women are sometimes the hardest for filmmakers to get just right, but co-writer and director Sophie Galibert‘s “Cherry” offers a genuine onscreen portrayal of what it’s like to be a young woman in the 21st century. This very human story takes a look at how significantly an unplanned pregnancy can disrupt a person’s life, even when they seem to have no clear path for the future.

Cherry (Alex Trewhitt, in a breakthrough lead performance) is a driftless, recently unemployed 25-year-old who discovers she is ten weeks pregnant. After a desperation visit to a clinic, Cherry learns that she has 24 hours to make one of the most crucial decisions of her life: what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. Trying to do a little soul searching to find answers, she treks across Los Angeles seeking insight from her best friends, sister, grandma, dad, mom, and boyfriend Nick (Dan Schultz).

The film features an authentic portrayal of the realities that are faced by many women, and Gailbert is a savvy storyteller. As Cherry is forced to embrace adulthood and confront her distressing situation head-on, the film makes her journey feel universally relatable. It’s a film about choice, growth, and the personal path that one woman must decide to take. It’s a very human story that reassuringly points out that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel lost. It’s okay to get off-track. Most of all, it’s okay to be your own woman.

While the topical subject matter sounds similar to other so-called “pro-choice” films, this one feels different. Instead of taking a strongly political angle, Gailbert explores a more intimate side of a woman’s right to choose. The seriousness of an unplanned pregnancy, especially when it comes to an immature woman who isn’t ready to be a mom, is expressed with an honesty and organic humor that’s genuine.

“Cherry” is a terrific film that articulates the importance of a woman’s freedom of choice when it comes to birthing and raising a child. It’s clever, funny, heartfelt, and touching.

By: Louisa Moore

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