For good or bad, the teenage sex romp comedy is as ingrained in our movie culture as any other genre. There are great ones, disastrous ones, and fairly inconsequential ones as well--just like any other type of movie. From "Porky's" to the "American Pie" saga, there is just no denying that we are ready, willing, and able to laugh at a nation of sex obsessed young adults. In truth, "Wild Cherry" didn't appear very promising from its cover and its cast. And while it certainly isn't laugh out loud uproarious, it is actually better than you might anticipate (given the relative restrictions of the genre). It is told from the female vantage point, which sets it apart in an interesting way. Ostensibly a revenge comedy, it wants to be a romance as well. It aspires to be raunchy AND strives to maintain its sweetness. I think that this dichotomy of tones is what limits the more outrageous moments, but it also allows for better developed characters--some of who you might actually care about.
The movie benefits tremendously with a likable leading actress Tania Raymonde (miles away from her LOST character). Silly when appropriate and surprisingly grounded with necessary, Raymonde might be one to watch. She fares considerably better than her best pals Rumer Willis and Kristin Cavallari. These virginal gals discover that a long held school myth about a notorious book is more than just a story. Every year, to maintain their winning streak, the football team must woo and bed all the pure maidens and check the conquests off in the book. Of course, our three leads are the last hold-outs and when they discover that the book is real--they plot some revenge scenarios. It's all pretty silly, especially as Raymonde is in a long term relationship with someone on the team. Cavallari parries with the team's most obnoxious member (Jesse Moss in a nice, if very broad, comic performance). Super offensive, the movie makes a case that even he deserves to have someone fall in love with him--despite his lack of redeeming characteristics.
One wildly ridiculous bowl of punch provides the film's most ludicrous gross-out moment--but most of the film is surprisingly tame. It's all that sweetness and romance amongst the wacky shenanigans. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the movie is that it stars Rob Schneider as Raymonde's father--desperate to hold on to a daughter who is growing up. I can't believe I'm saying it, but he is actually playing a character here (as opposed to playing yet another version of Rob Schneider) and provides, perhaps, the film's most understated role. That I wasn't expecting! Really, "Wild Cherry" is relatively harmless and easy to watch. It is exactly what it is and so you can't hold that against it. It is neither a remarkable example of the teen comedy or a particularly bad one. Chances are, aside from the punch scene--you probably won't have this one lingering in your mind after you watch it. Pleasant, but not very memorable. KGHarris, 6/11.