Clark Gregg swaps superheroes for child stars in his latest dark comedy, Trust Me, in which he wrote, directed, and stars.
What begins as a Hollywood version of Jerry McGuire becomes a depressing and grim look of how far the people involved in this business will go to get what they want.
We begin by seeing, once child star and now Hollywood agent, Howard (Gregg) getting fired by his only notable client for blowing a potentially huge deal. Sometime during this botched negotiation, he luckily stumbles into Lydia’s (Saxon Sharbino) dramatic audition which turns out to be a positive for the young actress. When she is offered the starring role for the next vampire teen trilogy, she immediately claims Howard as her agent. Lydia views Howard as the “nice” alternative to dirt bag agents who care only about money and could careless for the best interest of their clients. Much like Howard’s nemesis, Aldo (Sam Rockwell), a skeezy, douche of an agent who has managed to steal many of Howard’s talents.
Lydia and Howard have a great father-daughter bond and work well together, their only problem is Ray (Paul Sparks), Lydia’s greedy, alcoholic father who tends to cause a scene everywhere he goes. And just when things seem to looking up for Howard’s career and love life, he witnesses what he thinks might be a sexually abusive encounter between Ray and Lydia. Now he must decide if wants to continue his path of success with his inevitable profiting starlet or let the “good guy” within him follow his conscience.
From the start you are hooked. All the aspects of Howard’s life are thoroughly engaging. He pines over his beautiful neighbor (Amanda Peet), and the two share a surprisingly charming relationship. He also has great chemistry with Lydia that you feel could lead to a Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. moment. “Show me the MONEY!!!”
Needless to say Gregg gives a captivating performance along with his supporting cast. Saxon Sharbino, who I had never heard of until this movie, shines as the tween actress who is so talented that it’s hard to tell if she’s being herself or playing a part.
In about the last 30 minutes of the film, everything starts to get muggy fast. What seemed like powerful character development and a path of redemption quickly turns into an unsatisfying and truly unnecessary conclusion.
Trust Me has all the pieces for a fantastic, uplifting and/or solid flick; but maybe in an attempt to stay truly original, it past the mark a little too far.
Trust Me is in theaters June 6 and is currently available OnDemand and iTunes.
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