Trust_ (2010) Starring: Liana Liberato, Clive Owen and Catherine Keener. Directed by: David Schwimmer.
Trust is a film about a fifteen year old girl who has been chatting online with a young man who shares a lot of similar interests, only to later find out that this "young man" is in fact a thirty-something year old dude who speaks in an soft toned baby-talk fashion, but is still pretty OK looking and a little bit charming (some call it manipulative), so she lets lets him stick it inside of her. Oh, and then her dad slowly starts to lose his goddamn mind.
Despite her own unease when he shows up and appears even older than he confessed ("I'm really kinda like twenty... wiat, okay, DFO but I'm really like twenty-five instead."), she goes along with him and eventually falls for his "boy like charm". He talks really soft and annoying, pulling out all the stops to make her feel like the center of the universe... that is, until he gets his way with her and suddenly splits. The Scene of course it pretty squirm inducing, but it's handled pretty well. The revelation of the secret video camera underneath the television stand is a particularly disgusting addition to an already uncomfortable scene that will have most viewers hoping there's nobody around watching this with them, let alone, feel themselves watching this.
She may seem smart enough, but girls like her do dumb shit all the time. There's a lot of psycho babble between the girl and her appointed shrink that is glaringly obvious to anyone who's read about cases like these before or have seen a program on them; Including after school specials, which this film seems to be a bigger production value version of. I could easily see this playing on the Lifetime Network at one in the afternoon. This girl goes on and on about how people don't understand her lover, how he's so nice in every way and how he finds her so beautiful (apparently attention is something she greatly desires). I liked the whole Text Speak appearing on the screen idea as it looked really good and flowed nicely, though all the actual wording is incredibly annoying since I H8 that sort of shit (they did it for parent education apparently, which is even worse?).
One problem is that the film doesn't really figure out is why this girl has such low self esteem. Sure, there's the pressure of fitting in withe the "cool kids" and all this business about shirtless hot tween advertisements, but her family life seems pretty grounded and not to mention very happy. It appears that her parents give her just enough space at her age, but also are always there with advice and structure. They never abuse her or tell her she's ugly, in fact, at no point do they do anything other than show her that she's a beloved daughter. She seems like a smart enough girl too, so how could she go as far as to have such a horrible body image? Because of a few magazines, tv shows and popular girls at school (who in this film by the way, are far from beautiful)? Perhaps they shouldn't have cast such a gorgeous young lady in this if they wanted to pull this off. Or at least one that didn't look like a future Sasha Grey.
Every one of the characters here seems awfully emotionally detached as well. Now, I don't know if this was done purposely (I really fucking doubt it) or if it's just another of the film's many weaknesses. Even after the event, there aren't a lot of emotions being shed. It takes the father a while even to go nuts, and even then this guy is one very self-restrained dude. Everyone is acting weird after this all happens and I suppose that's natural, but it's all handled in a strange and rather unnatural way. While this film is actually decently made and acted, it's still pretty damn generic. Like I said earlier, the most obvious scenes take place and the script seems something like that of a cliff notes version of these sort of cases. The film never delves too deep into this particular girl's emotional situation at all. It's almost as if every character in this film is faceless in a way. Not due to the acting mind you, everyone is trying real hard here (and I found all of the performances actually really good)... but the lines are so stock and the events really are "by the book".
I'm not really too sure of the message that David Shwimimer was trying to get across here. Aside from seeing the dynamics of a father/daughter relationship going through a severe turmoil, what is the purpose of this film? Is it meant to be a PSA? A zeigiests for discussion between parents and children about the dangers of texting and chatting online? This isn't really a "movie" in the true sense, but rather a piece of awareness trickery. It's plain enough that nearly everyone can hopefully not relate to it, but at the same time, lacking in depth and a rather dull experience. It's a good thing that the actors here are all at the top of their game because if not this film would be absolute shit. But I'd say that it slightly ranks above a really awesome badly made PSA and just above a made for TV program. Liana Liberato is amazing! This was a great breakout role for her. There's not much going on aside from the father/daughter stuff though, and with that said, Clive Owen really carries the other half of this film. The rest of it is just pretty meh!