Under the Cherry Moon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Under the Cherry Moon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 6, 2012
This movie was very funny, I would have rated it lower if it didn't keep making me laugh. Prince normally seems to have a very serious personality with his music, so it's refreshing, surprising and funny to see him joking around. This was also a good movie considering that he directed it too, it's not easy to do both, especially when you're not actually a professional film director. The sets and cinematography are beautiful too, they're in tune with his music. The one thing I would like to say I didn't expect, was the ending. I wasn't sure whether it was the right kind of ending or not. On one hand it was realistic, but on the other hand, it feels like a let down. But overall I liked it.
whosinthenews
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2009
Reminds me of the time I poured chocolate all over Sheena E., or was that Morris? Eeeh-hee!
½ April 21, 2016
Prince is just so goddamn charming. This movie is a great mix of Purple Rain and A Hard Day's Night- full of charm, great music and a great sense of humor. I also loved Prince wearing his influences on his sleeve in this film, from the obvious Hard Days Night references (heck, Victor Spinetti is even IN the movie) to the Casablanca settings, to his amazing Rococo 80s outfits. My only complaint is I wish it had been in color, but only because Prince is so vibrant it feels like you're missing a huge piece of who he is in black and white.
½ June 9, 2014
I've gone on record liking this movie. Gonna have that record expunged, til I change my mind, again.
½ November 30, 2012
A ten dollar hooker masquerading as a high price escort but it could be worse. It's utterly self indulgent and the players look like they equated screen time with acting prowess. It's not a complete failure,there is Prince's soundtrack to offset the bland cheesiness, and some of the dialogue between the characters is charming but stick to Purple Rain if you want a real exposition on Princes marginal acting talent trumped by his explosive stage presence.
October 28, 2012
Under the Cherry Moon is a great looking film with style to spare and wonderful camera work that showcases the South of France, but overall, it's a 30's melodramatic storyline updated to 80's standards and the result is varied. Prince plays a gigolo who uses weathly women that he picks up at the Cherry Moon club until he meets his match with a spolied heiress Mary(Kristin Scott-Thomas in her film debut.) the chemistry between the two seem forced but the real chemistry lies with Prince and his cousin Tricky(Jerome Benton) they are a joy to watch together the only time this film comes to life. The costumes and soundtrack is first class, sadly a better storyline would have helped but I liked this movie over the really dreadful Grafitti Bridge with Prince.
½ July 9, 2012
Another of Prince's music video-like films. I totally loved the soundtrack but the rest of the picture was a mess. Under different direction it COULD have been better. Formulaic.
June 2, 2011
Corny cheesy and bad acting. Loved that it was shot in black and white. made everything seem so much more beautiful and romantic. Plus I lobe Prince.
September 20, 2010
This movie gets panned by alot of people but it's no worse than the Bee Gees in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This is a Prince movie for Prince fans and I like Prince's attempt to make this film look like a Hollywood classic by filming in black & white. Jerome Benton of the Time makes a great sidekick to Prince's ultra smooth Christopher Tracy. The supporting cast is really the only thing that weakens this film and I'm not just saying that because I am a Prince & Jerome fan. I will agree that Prince isn't the most gifted actor but he is one of the greatest musicians of our age and knows how to incorporate his music into a 90 minute film.
½ April 2, 2010
Ok, since I'm on a Prince kick I'll review this one. To give you an idea how awful this movie was all you have to do is compare it to Purple Rain. Under the Cherry Moon made Purple Rain look like The Ten Commandments. It was that bad. Some great music on Prince's part but not near the caliber of Rain. Prince was a Gigalo. Big surprise there. Jerome from Morris Day and the Time is NOT an actor. He's a butler. Kristin Scott Thomas is actually adorable in this film. Where the hell did this girl go? Instead we get the boring and droll English actress that bores me to death in today's movies. Crap, crap and a crap sandwich.
January 1, 2010
Sorry Prince...But that was the worst crap I've seen in some time. Also, you did it in black and white.
½ September 8, 2008
This is one of my all time favorite movies. It's a bit corny but it shows Prince's great personality and sense of humor. Jerome is always a great supporting cast mate and his role as tricky was a gas.
August 6, 2008
Although the movie is filmed in black and white and Prince's 1st attempt at such, I found this movie to be very entertaining and the script although somewhat "silly" still very enlightening. The life of a male call boy- I will be honest- If he was really a call boy - I am sure he wouldnt have to SCOUT for clients! Loved that Prince talked in this one ! A must see for all Prince Fans!!!!!!! Jerome was charming and added abit of 'Flair to the entire movie.
Kristin Scott Thomas was a sweetheart and alittle overwhelmed with playing oppisite of a star like Prince it seemed. All and all- a good movie to curl up and watch on a rainy night with your lover.
January 27, 2008
fuse had some weird 80s movies on.
under the cherry moon is prince at his most obnoxious. but still pretty funny.
shit ending.
incredible soundtrack.
christopher tracy's parade.
why all the hate?
not enough citizen kane for all the snobbish film critics.
January 25, 2008
Sandwiched between the massive hit Purple Rain in 1984 and the ho-hum sequel Graffiti Bridge in 1990 is Prince's "other film"--Under the Cherry Moon. I'm not completely convinced, but I'm pretty sure this film is the most derided of all three--with Purple Rain usually appreciated for the music, on a camp level and on a grudging acceptance of its pseudo-biopic nature and Graffiti Bridge often treated as a collection of performances again.

Honestly, after Graffiti Bridge, I was very, very wary of trying this one on for size. I thought I should space out my Prince-watching a bit further so as to avoid being annoyed simply by the oversaturation of films with his name that bore such middling (acting) performances and writing. I shrugged tonight, though, and stuck the disc in anyway. We're immediately greeted by a voiceover telling us this is Christopher Tracy (Prince himself) playing the piano in front of us at a club, and that he is quite a ladies man (a gigolo, really, and he's called just that a few times during the movie) and cares for only money, and that he would do many things for many women, but for one he would die (I'd thought I'd ruined the movie a while ago reading about it, but apparently this is one of those sort of films that "ruins" itself, thereby implying this isn't ruination in the first place--unless you manage to forget it before the end). We then see him seducing a wealthy woman in white from his piano, overplaying the part to an effect that, combined with the voiceover, hopefully makes the viewer realize where Prince is coming from with this film, which I'll get to after I sort of lay out the essence of the plot for you here. We find out that Christopher lives with his friend Tricky (Jerome Benton, who has occasionally been a member of The Time) and the two of them work over bored or distracted widows, wives and divorcees to get money, which they plan on using to get back to Miami--because this film is set in France. The appearance of one Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott Thomas, in a very early role before ones in things like The English Patient or Altman's Gosford Park or Four Weddings and a Funeral) brings something new to the whole proceeding though, with the two of them competing to gain her affection, splitting their own partnership apart even as they both attempt to start a more permanent one (read: marriage) with her. As you might expect, after a clashing of mindsets from the "peasant" Christopher and the thoroughly wealthy and spoiled Mary, the two find themselves falling for each other, against the wishes of her father Isaac (Steven Berkoff, always good as a villain with those cold, arched eyes and that steely, thin-lipped countenance--perhaps most memorable as Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop).

So, I referenced the idea that at the beginning we are told what kind of film this is. I established that, despite my affection for Prince's music, I do not fall easily into the trap of automatically liking his movies. However, once the film told me what was going on--this film is going to be a reference to silent and early film, and have a style melding that with modern sensibilities and dialects and Prince music, and it's going to be a comedy--I fell into it pretty throughly. The friendly chemistry between Prince and Benton is very engaging and entertaining, the two playing off each other wonderfully, and both playing off their victims--and Mary, their would-be victim--spectacularly. The timing is spot-on for all the comedy. If a joke falls flat, it's not too flat, and it's just not got that spark of complete surprise necessary for a true, full laugh (and I'm known to be quite picky about humour, so they may be just fine for you). Understanding all of that is important to watching this film. Every negative review I skimmed or read just before writing this sounded like they just wanted to beat up on Prince for being an egomaniac. OK, yes, he's an egomaniac. Maybe he's got a Napoleon complex (if you never realized he's about five foot nothing, bear in mind he's almost always wearing heels of some variety). Regardless, the man is talented. Sorry to all you pissy reviewers, but in fact that talent includes directing. Mary Lambert (she of the Pet Sematarys) was originally slated to helm this film, but Prince fired her, which he could do because it was filmed in France (aha! I knew that was important!) and kept her on only as "creative consultant." Strangely, I hear her name and think of the highly talented female director Mary Harron almost every time (sorry, Lambert is NOT highly talented from what I've seen)--which only became weirder when the lead female character is named "Mary Sharon." But I'm getting way off topic here.

People also criticize the strange pseudo-homoerotic element of Christopher and Tricky's relationship. Um, and...? So what? I really don't understand the fuss. Then again, I don't really understand the fuss over that in most contexts, so maybe I'm the wrong person to ask. It doesn't seem accidental, so the haughty, snotty reviewers acting like it's "slipping out" are just pushing even harder against my belief that they really didn't understand this movie. And really, it's not some massive amazing work of art, so that's not so much a pretentious cop-out rebuttal as an outright insult. You'd have to be pretty uncultured or stupid not to get this movie. You can like it or not like it, that's jim-dandy. But if you sit there and say that he's overacting and it's hilarious that it seems like there's "something going on"--you didn't get it. We're set up with a voiceover to tell us this is a fairy tale of sorts. That's the whole point. It's not reality, it's film, and it's not even supposed to be "realistic" (let alone cinema verité), so sneeringly pointing these things out makes you look like an idiot, like you think you uncovered a dirty secret that wasn't even a secret, nevermind dirty. I've seen an almost reverse appear--with Ebert talking about the "hidden satire" of Evil Dead 2. It's not hidden. It's the entire point.

This film is fun. It's in black and white not to "pompously" associate itself with Scorsese and Lynch as some fool said (what, they have a monopoly on choosing black and white now?!) but rather a way of further bringing it into the timeframe and setting it is intended to relate to. The cars and much of the dress furthers this, but naturally there are complete violations, usually perpetrated by Christopher and Tricky. But that's also intentional--they are a violation of the mandates and customs of the world we're seeing them barge into. Yeah, ok, Prince just has a weird sense of fashion, too, and yes, again, he's an egomaniac, but he's got something to back it up, unlike the goofball reviewers.

Ahem. Sorry. I've completely derailed myself here, but it really irritates me when criticism of a movie is so blatantly, ridiculously ignorant. And this one doesn't even take much. If it took a lot of background knowledge to understand what was going on here, I'd understand, but this is really very simple and it's all right out there. If you get your jollies poking holes in Prince's ego (he shuts down his own fansites, do you really think he gives a crap what some stupid reviewer says?) then--hey, have fun, but please try to have some ground to stand on. Sheesh.
October 24, 2007
Even though there are a few goofs involving the time period, UTCM is a forgotten classic. The humor is great, Prince gets to show off his decent acting skills and his cool costumes. And the music is fun too!
September 21, 2007
Not the best movie (a lot less enjoyable than Purple Rain), but Parade is a great album, Kiss is a great single and Sometimes it Snows in April is my favorite slower Prince song.
December 24, 2013
Not for everyone. This movie was jarring after the epic first movie came out but it still is enjoyable. Don't expect Purple Rain 2 though...
½ April 21, 2016
Prince is just so goddamn charming. This movie is a great mix of Purple Rain and A Hard Day's Night- full of charm, great music and a great sense of humor. I also loved Prince wearing his influences on his sleeve in this film, from the obvious Hard Days Night references (heck, Victor Spinetti is even IN the movie) to the Casablanca settings, to his amazing Rococo 80s outfits. My only complaint is I wish it had been in color, but only because Prince is so vibrant it feels like you're missing a huge piece of who he is in black and white.
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