Trust Me is a Gem of a Movie


That title may be a bit misleading. That's how I feel about the movie, but those who prefer sunny endings may be disappointed. If I didn't at least preface my recommendation this way, I know some people who would be annoyed with me. I used to feel the same way, and I still do depending on the implied promise an individual story makes to me. It all matters in how the story is playing out, its mood, and its intentions as to whether or not I feel betrayed by it. An ending doesn't always redefine the journey.

If you know nothing about Trust Me, do not first read about it at IMDb. More so than the opening of the movie, which filled me with a nervousness throughout, the description kind of gives away something it shouldn't have, something I was looking for the entire time and wouldn't have been suspicious of until nearing the end. The impact of the revelation that I'm trying to dance around would have been more powerful. Still it was done so well and in such an unexpected way that Trust Me earned every tear and concerned expression I'm sure I would have seen on myself had I been holding up a mirror while watching. So I will try my best to not give too much away. Trust Me is about Howard Holloway, a down on his luck (way, way down) agent to child actors whose clients and their fame-obsessed parents consistently dump for his slimeball rival, Aldo, who takes a disturbing pleasure in ruining Howard. At his lowest point, a point he probably should have given up and gone into a different business instead of clinging to a life that took his childhood and promised nothing but pain in adulthood, Howard comes across the next "Joanie Foster" in Lydia. But she brings a problem of her own into the mix in the form of her alcoholic father.

This is a short film (less than 90 minutes) that is far from thin on commentary on the state of the ruthless business of movies. It actually seemed longer than it was. Not that it was dragging on. I was having such a good time with it that I savored every scene. I wanted to watch it again the same day. You may not be quite sure about it at the start and at the finish, but all the way through you will be rooting for this underdog, hoping that he finally gets out of this deep hole the industry has dug for him instead of being buried in it. With everything I've ever incidentally read or seen, I really wonder if anyone makes it through without being permanently scarred. I'm reminded of things like child beauty pageants, where some parents go too far in projecting their dreams onto their kids. I shudder to think.

So, no, this is not the happiest of movies. There is a great deal of manipulation and backstabbing. Fortunately, Trust Me is more than the sum of its painful moments. It also has a great sense of humor and sparkles with the charm of Amanda Peet and the razor sharp intelligence of newcomer Saxon Sharbino (Touch), not to mention Sam Rockwell, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, and William H. Macy in a small but memorable moment. What a great cast. But I am most impressed with the immense talent of Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who plays Howard. He wrote, directed, and acted in this little gem and imbued a warm heart throughout. Trust Me proves once again that Gregg should have been a main attraction far sooner, and it reinforces why he's one of my favorite people and why he should be one of yours.

Trust Me is in select theaters on June 6, but you can rent or buy it now on Amazon: Trust Me (Watch Now Before It's in Theaters). It was well worth my $12.99. It is also available from iTunes.

I love how the trailer only hints at what this movie truly is.


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