Oh, Prince! Without a doubt, you are one of the most charismatic enigmas of the 80's ranking somewhere between the DeLorean and the Lionel Richie bust from the "Hello" video. So when it came time to make a follow-up to the highly successful, Academy Award winning Purple Rain, Prince did what any other filmmaker would do. He made a film filled with drama, romance, comedy and musical numbers that was as bizarre as a boxing kangaroo on rollerblades. Yeah, it is really that confusing and that comical.
Under the Cherry Moon features his purple majesty as Christopher Tracy, a piano playing, hustling poet living in France with his sidekick/pimp, Tricky (portrayed by a mirror free Jerome Benton of The Time, The Family and, eventually, The Revolution). He also dreams of bedding classy French ladies and persuading them into giving him money. Most importantly, he is really into staring at people strangely.
Mary Sharon, however, is unlike the usual women Christopher tries to hustle. First of all, she has lots of money, secondly, she is played by Kristin Scott Thomas in her film debut and third, her dad is the guy who tried to kill Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. At her 21st birthday party, or a circus with elephants, French socialites and children, Mary reveals many things such her birthday suit, an ability to play Planet Rock on drums and a need to know who Christopher is and why is he and his sidekick at her party.
Soon Christopher and Mary's eyes lock, tarot cards are thrown in the air and they begin the whole cycle of we hate each other but will soon fall in love with each other and more importantly, he gives her the number to his stylist just in case she wants a dashing ensemble much like his.
From there, Mary fantasizes about and flirts with Christopher through a stream of childish insults and dancing with Tricky who also would not mind trusting Mary's fund if you know what I mean and I hope you do because I definitely do not. Tricky believes all she needs is "a dark room and a Sam Cooke album" to see some fun in her life whereas Christopher knows that all Mary needs is to know who she wants. In turn, Mary, herself, wants to start having fun on her own without private guards and chauffeurs but her father, a.k.a. the guy who killed Axel Foley's friend, Mikey, find it to be nonsense and also does not approve of her hanging out with the likes of two American hustlers.
All while this is happening, Christopher and Tricky start a friendly rivalry for Mary's affection that includes dinner, talking about going to a "wrecka stow," getting a group of stuffy, older French people to dance to "Girls and Boys" and doing whatever this is...
Whatever that is, it is still less scary than other previous images such as this...
This is the look to the sound of doves crying.
Christopher's advances help loosen Mary up as she realizes that she is falling for him as "she had the cutest ass he had seen. So did he, they were meant to be." As Mary begins to fall for the ambiguously dressed player, she spends her money on him and Tricky in the only way possible, a montage. Seriously, it is the only way to spend money. A montage, bats, a Prince and the Revolution instrumental and a race later, Christopher and Mary find themselves in the throws of sequined passion while leaving Tricky out in the cold, or more to the point, a casino/bar. I would like to say it was sexy but it looked like this...
Their affair threatens the lives of all those around them. Mary's father, Issac, will no longer be able to combine his fortune with the family of Mary's fiance/boyfriend, Jonathan nor will he succeed in attempting to kill Axel Foley again. Tricky feels cheated out his share of her money because of Christopher's feelings and tells Mary the truth about horse whispering and, mostly, about his deal with Christopher. This leaves our wealthy, 21-year-old Mary angry and scorned. More importantly, she realizes "the world is full of kings and queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams." Some might call it heaven and hell, I prefer to think of it as how did she not realize this one hour ago.
Undeterred, Christopher sets out to prove to Mary that he loves her by abducting her and making love to her to a soundtrack from the Revolution. Soon, he find out that there is no escaping the grip of Issac Sharon, who this time will kill Axel Foley, sort of. In the end, lives are lived and heaven is a place where nothing ever happens except for the Revolution playing "Mountains."
Under The Cherry Moon is a film that causes many a head scratch after witnessing it and raises several questions such as who read the script and thought this film was a good idea or why is Christopher always staring at people strangely. Granted, the plan was just to give Prince another film since he and the Revolution were still a hot commodity and Purple Rain turned out to be a surprise hit. Instead, we get one of the most bizarre, albeit amusing, entries of Prince's career and his Wikipedia page and a film that Kristen Scott Thomas looks at less fondly these days (as if she did then).
I, however, do harbor hope that a sequel to this will be made. Come on, Purple Rain got Graffiti Bridge. It seems only fair for this film to have its own sequel. Christopher could come back as a ghost that only Tricky can see as he seduces women in Rome after being exiled from Miami and Paris. Even though you claim that the Internet is over, Prince only you can make this happen. Please, read this and make it happen.
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