SherryBaby (2006) would appear, at first glance, to resemble the hundreds of TV movies about ex-convicts trying to go back to life outside prison…
Laurie Collyer’s film is a story of a young girl on parole, a drug addict, who starts a new life in her old town. Her biggest dream is to regain the trust of her young daughter, Alexis (Ryan Simpkins) who is in the care of Sherry’s brother, Bobby (Brad William Henke) and his wife Lynette (Bridget Barkan).
Of course, this is no easy task – the little girl’s guardians find it hard to believe in Sherry’s ability to take care of her daughter, especially her ’other mother’, who is doing everything in her power to keep them apart. But Sherry doesn’t give up – she finds a job, goes to meetings for drug addicts and finds a friend there, Dean (Danny Trejo), another addict, who helps in her struggle with the many obstacles she faces on her way back to a normal life.
Maggie Gyllenhal , who plays Sherry, once again proves that she is a great actress, insightful and likeable. It is hard for audience to like Sherry, especially knowing her past, but Gyllenhal makes us feel for her, creating a portrayal of a young woman who is lost and confused, pretends to be strong and reliable, but is really still a little girl, who cannot deal with what life brings her.
Gyllenhal’s acting is the pillar on which the film is built, but is really only one of the two positive aspects of this otherwise mediocre film. The other is Brad William Henke, who plays Sherry’s brother, and is torn between love for his little sister and his inability to fix her past mistakes, a silent character who has a big role to play in Sherry’s life.
It’s thanks to their acting partnership that the film is worth seeing, just about.