Written and directed by Ron Krauss
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones
Apple (Hudgens) is a pregnant teenager on the run from her abusive mother (Dawson). When she turns to the father (Fraser) she’s never known, she faces a new challenges, but also a new set of opportunities.
This 2013 film was written and directed by Ron Krauss (Amexica). He penned the film after spending a year living in a shelter for pregnant teenagers. The movie stars Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch), Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds), Brendan Fraser (Crash), and James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams).
The story Krauss wrote for this film is a combination of elements he took from some of the residents at the shelter he lived at. The themes are obvious from the beginning, and initially the story is strong. The film accurately captures the red tape and bureaucracy of the social service system as it relates to children. The unfortunate aspect of the story is that the obvious nature of the themes transfers into the plot. While the dialogue has some strong moments, there is little doubt about the story. The predictable nature of the film becomes almost frustrating because of the mistakes made by the characters. This could’ve been a stronger film had the writing been able to tackle the material with more skill. Unfortunately this becomes a predictable mess due to some of the major plot issues.
The acting in this film is good, but it’s also unable to overcome the weaknesses in the story. The characters are written in such a way that they feel more like caricatures or bad stereotypes. Vanessa Hudgens does have some good moments in the film. She definitely transformed herself for the role with a strong emotional performance. Rosario Dawson and Brendan Fraser also did good work at times in this one. Like Hudgens, these two were unable to improve upon the writing. James Earl Jones plays a painfully stereotypical role in this one. His performance as the tough-love religious leader is such a cliché. Overall, the acting just doesn’t have enough to work with to do anything special.
There isn’t much more to say about this film. The story is weak enough to keep this from being worth while. The acting could’ve been much better had the stars been given the right material. Unless you’re desperate to see one of the stars, this is one to skip. It’s not necessarily that bad, but it won’t do anything for you. The predictable nature of the weak story can’t be overcome. I give this one 1 out of 5 stars.