Although it sure looks like a comedy, hold on tight… it becomes very, very dark towards the end.

I enjoyed watching Trust Me and glad I did, though I can pretty much guarantee a lot of folks will hate the direction the film takes towards the end.  This is because it seems like a light comedy for most of the movie and you grow to like the characters.  And then, out of the blue, it turns incredibly dark… black hole dark!  I didn’t exactly love the twist, either, or at least parts of it, though I really can’t say more or else I might spoil the surprises the movie gives the viewer—and there are quite a few!

Clark Gregg stars as Howard Holloway, an agent for child actors who is definitely in a career slump—or, perhaps his whole career is just a giant slump.  He’s just about to lose his last client and he has very little to show for his years in the industry—both as an agent and as a child actor himself.  His personality reminded me a lot of the character Bowfinger (from the Steve Martin film of the same name) because he’ll say or do just about anything to make the deal.

Trust Me
Written & Directed by
Clark Gregg
Clark Gregg, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney
Release Date
6 June 2014
Martin’s Grade: B+

Howard’s failing career seems to have a HUGE turnabout when a young actress, Lydia (Saxon Sharbino) decides she wants him for an agent.  This is a big surprise, as it’s obvious that Howard is NOT a big player in the industry and because her father takes an instant dislike of Howard (don’t worry, Dad seems to instantly hate just about everyone).  Soon, it’s obvious that she is going to be his ticket to the big time, as she’s about to be offered the lead in the newest series of over-hyped Hollywood teen blockbuster films (about vampire aliens!).  But, while Howard looks like he’s finally going to get the big break, a huge number of obstacles are about to be thrown his way—and one BIG one is coming from where he least expects it.  And by then, you’ve actually come to like and respect Howard and you know he deserves better.

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I think the best way to describe this film is an ultra-dark look at the awful side of Hollywood, agents and child stars as told through a parable of sorts.  The studio executives are shown as being surprisingly ugly and dirty little people.  Because of this, it’s like the film is biting the proverbial hand that feeds it!  But, the film abounds with biting from all sides and I think it’s a marvelous film for parents of would-be stars to see—to show them what it is they might be looking for after all.  Unfortunately, I am not sure how many are willing to listen.

The bottom line is that I really respect the film for exposing the viewer to some of the ugly aspects of the film industry—especially when it comes to kids.  And, I appreciated the twists that come at the end.  But, it might leave you feeling a bit depressed…so think about that before you give it a watch.  It’s exceptionally well written and crafted.  All the acting is quite nice and the leads are given some nice support from the likes of Sam Rockwell, Paul Sparks and Felicity Huffman (among others).  Gregg is marvelous as Howard and Sharbino IS amazing playing Lydia since she really is only about 14 yet performs like a woman of great intelligence and experience.  I just hope that in course of her career (which looks VERY promising with this performance), Sharbino doesn’t end up like Lydia in the film!  An interesting story that makes you think and also might leave you a bit saddened for the experience.

by Martin Hafer