In "Gimme Shelter" actress Vanessa Hudgens plays a sixteen year-old runaway girl named Apple Bailey in this recent film written and directed by Ron Krauss and released by Roadside Attractions. The story follows the realistic trials of an adolescent girl who finds herself pregnant and homeless. Her own message in this story is clear: she is weary - worn out from abuse on the part of her mother, suspicious and fed up with the socially acceptable solutions to her problems, having survived multiple foster homes and sexual abuse by a foster caregiver. The viewer of this movie feels her frustrations, her anguish and understands her laments - I just can't do this anymore.
Her mother, played by Rosario Dawson, offers one solution to her pregnant daughter's problem - come back home and we'll get more money from welfare when the baby is born. Apple's wealthy father and his wife offer another solution - get an abortion and start with a clean slate. Apple wants neither solution. She wants to keep her baby for her own reasons. Her desire is strongly challenged by her lack of means and her youth. Accepting either one of her parents' solutions seems simple enough, but it isn't simple in this case. Why not? The simple answer is that neither of those solutions are rooted in love.
It isn't until Apple ends up in the hospital following a traffic accident and is advised by a priest, Father Frank McCarthy, played by James Earl Jones, that Apple is finally presented with a choice rooted in love. Father McCarthy introduces Apple to Kathy Di Fiore, played by Ann Dowd, who runs a home for expectant young mothers. It is within this environment that Apple finally finds acceptance, love, and support.
Among the reviews about this movie which can be found at rottentomatoes.com one sounds something like this: "The result is awkward, hyped propaganda for faith-based initiatives and against abortion (M.Sragow).
Awkward? Is the subject matter awkward? Are the solutions awkward? Is the fact that this film is based on a true story awkward?
Propaganda? Is the only acceptable propaganda that which is hailed by a different faction other than faith-based?
The serious question we need to face is this: are the only acceptable solutions to modern problems the ones that steer us away from love? Propaganda that introduces a LOVING CHOICE is evidently not acceptable. Yes, the movie is faith-based; from the moment Apple approaches the home for expectant mothers the viewer sees the statue of Mary holding Baby Jesus, various crucifixes and pictures of Christ and his saints, and the girls are taken to Mass to ask for financial assistance. But love-based solutions are vehemently rejected by many modern liberals.
What do women really need? Gimme Shelter answers this question loud and clear - Women need loving options - that's what women of all ages and financial backgrounds need. Is that too much to ask?