2014 / Director. Clark Gregg.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The strength of TRUST ME lies in its talent pool. Every single player in this expose on the Hollywood film industry is on the money. With an ensemble cast that reads like a low-key Robert Altman film it boasts a line up of names such as Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, Felicity Huffman, William H Macy, Molly Shannon and Allison Janney.
Actor Clark Gregg directs and stars in this comedic drama set in the dog-eat-dog world of child-actor representation. He plays a former child star that became an agent and struggles in the cutthroat Hollywood world of instant fame. On the same morning that he loses his one and only client he has a chance encounter with a teenage actress and finds himself representing her. Suddenly he’s back in the game with a major studio headhunting the girl for a major franchise and the power-players looking to exploit the girl’s inexperience within the industry. With his career riding on this one last shot he must contend with a drunken father, wealthy competing agents and vicious studio executives.
TRUST ME is a film made with inside knowledge and it casts a judgemental eye on the nature of teenage celebrity and the lack of control that young Hollywood figures have. Gregg is exceptional in the lead and is one of the most likeable characters I’ve seen on film for a long time. He comes across as a genuinely nice man who struggles to operate within an insincere profession. His co-star is Saxon Sharbino, who plays his newly acquired 13-year-old client. This girl can act and her performance is a massive revelation. She recently went on to star in the remake of POLTERGEIST and I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years. For me the most surprising performance in TRUST ME came from Amanda Peet - she’s never been better. Playing Gregg’s hesitant love interest, she delivers a performance that is so natural and casual that it’s almost transcending.
The script is also very solid and the narrative plays out fluently. It is a seamless story of insecurities, insincerities, deceptions and manipulations that are met with opposing themes of personal struggle, family dysfunctions, false-hope and trust. Were it not for a bloated and heavy-handed finale I would consider it to be a perfect film…. but heck, near perfect is good enough. This is great stuff.