A bit worn out on the whole "Twilight" threesome love story? Feel like the Bella and Edward romance is getting a bit mechanical? Well, check out a different, but equally romantic (and robotic!) love triangle selection below because it’s time for another...Forgotten Friday Flick! As promised this one is a love story about a man, his lovely fembot and a real woman who gives him pause in the automation-is-best department. Cue the soothing music, crack open the champagne and insert your memory microchip because love is in the air courtesy of five-star 1987 sci-fi camp classic..."Cherry 2000!"
It’s the year 2017 and despite expert technological advances, humankind has stepped backwards, especially when it comes to male/female relationships. In fact, gone are the days of heading to the local bar, striking up conversation and playing your cards right in the hopes of getting lucky. Now lawyers run the show and any encounter that includes dinner, a movie and a possible sexual encounter must be signed, sealed and notarized – no deal, no feel. It’s a world that has become tough for business executive and all around romantic nice guy Sam Treadwell. So much so that he has resigned to settling down with a lovely gal more tailored to his old fashioned needs, a loving and caring lady by the name of Cherry. Only one complication, Cherry is actually a Cherry 2000 - female android.
Unfortunately bot and water don't mix and after a tryst of unbridled passion on the wet kitchen floor short circuits Cherry, Sam tries desperately to have her fixed. Problem is not only is she irreparable, but she’s a limited edition model that is well out of date and hard to find. Determined, focused and armed with the memory chip from his now deceased love, Sam heads out to find a tracker to take him into the bot graveyard to replace the love he lost. He comes upon unconventional gal E. Johnson, a tough female tracker who offers to take the lovelorn Sam across hostile territory into Zone 7 to find the Cherry manufacturing plant. It’s in this journey that the two not only find trouble in the form of wasteland overlord Lester and his deranged cronies, but Sam begins to notice the upside of a fetching gal who doesn't run on batteries.
It’s a simple premise, but the material within "Cherry 2000" is elevated by many five-star factors. First off, the awesome and slick future look via Director Steve De Jarnatt is pure 80’s camp – from the neon dating clubs (a little early Laurence Fishburne as a romantic legal eagle anyone?!) to the moody bot graveyard (blue tint is so Michael Mann - love it!) everything has a glossy finish. And of course there would also be no mood without the powerful score by Greek-American composer Basil Poledouris, which enters the Tangerine Dream realm of dramatic impact elevation.
Though in the end it’s the performances, both cheesy and sincere that give all the spice that "Cherry 2000" needs. Loved David Andrews as the devoted and surly Sam, Pamela Gidley (yes, Teresa Banks in "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me!") as the bot out to please and even Tim 'Jack Deth' Thomerson as the over-the-top lunatic Lester. But the show belongs to E. Johnson and she’s played with gusto by an early, sexy, smart and sassy Melanie Griffith. As the tough tracker who turns Sam’s head, Griffith provides just the right amount of bold and beautiful to pull off a role that is key to the more love ridden and action orientated aspects of the film – it’s her finest work.
There was a lot of confusion over at the now debunked Orion Pictures about the release of "Cherry 2000" back in 1985 when it was completed. It was shelved for various reasons and put off until the video release in 1988, meaning that time for cool marketing and well-deserved attention was all but wiped out. Seems the morons over at Orion at the time didn’t know how to handle a film that encapsulated so many wonderful genres like Cherry and as a result the film fell into movie obscurity. Well, I’m screaming loud and proud to forget that remake talk (yes, even if it would have Melanie Griffith’s daughter Dakota in the E. Johnson role!) and go back and embrace the romance, action, sci-fi, drama, and all out cool camp that is "Cherry 2000." Movies and robots - they truly don’t make ‘em like they used to.