Monday, September 18, 2006

Sherrybaby: A Belated Review




Who would have thought that reconnecting with your estranged three year old wouldn’t be easy? I know Lifetime has.

Laurie Collyer’s film Sherrybaby feels like something Lifetime would churn out on a Monday night, and possibly every other night for the following three months. No, there is no internet porn tearing an innocent family apart (literally speaking), but there is an ex-inmate-trying-to-reconnect-with-her-estranged-daughter plotline, which is of similar caliber.

Sherrybaby opens with a blue NJ Transit bus en route to Newark. On that bus is Sherry Dawson (Gyllenhaal), who was just released from prison. Brown paper bag in hand, she is on her way to Genesis House, a boarding home for women on parole. About ten minutes in, Sherry asks her parole officer if she can spend one night with her brother and his wife, who are caring for her 3-4 year old daughter Alexis. A few indiscretions and scuffles with the housemates later, Sherry’s brother arrives at Genesis House to bring her home.

The rest of the story is fairly predictable. Things are bad, the sister-in-law is uber-territorial, Alexis refers to her mother by her first name, etc.

Despite Collyer’s clichéd writing, Gyllenhaal manages to put on an impressive performance. The scene in which glossy-eyed Sherry drunkenly pushes a shopping cart around a toy store in search of the perfect birthday gift is beyond disturbing as she presses every “Try Me!” button she crosses.

The movie tries to be sad. Very sad. Very, very sad. This is the stuff Lifetime movies are made of, folks, and it doesn’t hold back. Then again, I might just be another douche bag laughing inappropriately at a sad movie. It’s like the time I wanted Susan Sarandon to fucking die already during the first ten minutes of Stepmom.

If you’re in the mood to cry, see Sherrybaby. If you’re just looking for a laugh, seeing Sherrybaby can do that too.

1 comment:

Moxie Hart said...

The day Moxie Hart becomes Ann Coulter will be the day A Thimble Full of Corn Oil becomes a Thimble Full of Diarrhea.
I would still read this even if it were A Thimble Full of Diarrhea. I just wouldn't eat before reading it. ^_^
BtW, what does A Thimble Full of Corn Oil refer to? My instinct is saying that it's Simpson's related. Didn't Grampa say that the Wright brothers' plane crossed the Atlantic on a thimble full of corn oil?