Do You TRUST David Schwimmer’s New Movie?August 03, 2011

Do You TRUST David Schwimmer’s New Movie?


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: TRUST (Millennium).


By Adam Schartoff

What would you do if you found out your daughter had fallen prey to an online sex predator? TRUST is David Schwimmer’s second feature wearing the director’s cap. His first, RUN, FATBOY, RUN (2007) was an amusing enough romantic comedy starring Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton.


Given his past work (mostly comedy) the thematic 180 degree turn with TRUST may come as something of a surprise to Schwimmer’s fans but it turns out that the film holds up pretty well. This might be in part due to its strong cast which includes A-list actors Clive Owen and Catherine Keener as Will and Lynne, the parents of pretty adolescent Annie (newcomer Liana Liberato).

Annie is 14 and develops a relationship with Charlie, someone she believes to be a high school boy, roughly her peer. At a stage considered to be at risk —her father works too many hours, her older brother is on the cusp of leaving home for college, she has trouble fitting in at school— Annie is largely left to herself. As much as her parents clearly love her, they don’t seem terribly concerned with just how much time she is spending chatting on line and on her cell phone.


On the weekend that her parents take brother Peter (Spencer Curnutt) to college, Annie has made plans to meet her beau at a nearby mall. Initially in shock when a middle aged man shows up claiming to be Charlie, she slowly warms up to his repeated reminders that he is the Charlie she fell in love with. The work, in other words, had already been done.


TRUST could have been far more bathetic but to its credit, it keeps its head. Notable is Chris Henry Coffee’s portrayal as the predator Graham Weston, aka “Charlie”. In a performance absent of mustache twirling or shifty eyes, what makes Coffee’s so convincing and ultimately disturbing is his cool matter-of-fact approach to Annie. Otherwise TRUST doesn’t stand out much, at times it’s didactic like an old Lifetime movie. But what it might lack cinematically, it makes up for in its earnest and direct approach to a growing problem.

As more young people stare at more screens more of the time, there will be plenty of those will take advantage of whatever cyber opportunities present themselves. The other issue that the movie handles well with is the exploitation of youth in the pop culture. Owen's Will works for an ad agency whose current campaign highlights barely-dressed teenagers. After he finds out about what has happened to his daughter and as Will’s world caves in, he appears less and less comfortable playing the role of creative ad executive.

TRUST is not going to win any Oscars, if that’s any litmus test at this point, but it deserves credit for taking on a serious issue while avoiding histrionics. Also, in a small role as a compassionate social worker, Viola Davis is another welcome presence.



- Adam Schartoff


Adam Schartoff is film journalist for several film-related web sites as well as Media Editor for WestView, a downtown NYC newspaper. He lives in Brooklyn.

Look for TRUST under your cable system's On Demand section.


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