Annie (Liana Liberato) is like many teenagers her age. She is struggling to find her place in life. She is not the popular girl in school but she is far from an outcast. Despite having loving parents, Will and Lynn (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener), the only person Annie feels that truly gets her is her online friend Charlie. After weeks of chatting online and over the phone, Annie and Charlie decided to meet one weekend when Annie’s folks are out of town. Little does Annie know that Charlie is not quite who he claims to be; and this weekend will change her, and her family’s, life forever.
Judging by the popularity of social networks, smart phones (e.g. IPhones, Blackberrys, etc.), and of course blogs. It seems that the internet has surpassed television as the one thing most people cannot live without. Despite all the warnings against doing so; the internet is still the place where people, especially the younger generation, share their most personal information. In some ways this why Trust is a crucial film that parents should see with their teens and pre-teens. It is a film that is made to appeal to the general cinema goer rather than the hardcore cinephiles. There were several times where Trust felt like it may veer into an “ABC After School Special of the week” or “Dateline: To Catch a Predator” territory. Yet Schwimmer managed to reign the film in just enough to avoid this.
Unlike his previous film, Run Fat Boy Run, Trust cements David Schwimmer as a director to watch in the future. Sure the film has several flaws, but I still think Schwimmer shows a lot of potential. He takes the time to show just how much work a lot of these predators put in. Some of them spend months building up the victims trust before striking. Even after the rape has taken place, many of the victims are convinced it was done out of love. It is moments like these where Trust finds it stride. Schwimmer could have easily made this a revenge flick like the ads suggest, but he is far more concerned with how rape alters the family dynamic. Will immediately becomes obsessed with finding the assailant. In his mind, doing physical damage to the culprit would ease the immense guilt he feels of not being able to protect his child. Lynn on the other hand is more focused on what their daughter is going through emotionally. When Lynn lashes out at Will by stating “you are doing nothing” it is a telling moment for both characters.
While Trust may not be a great film, it is good enough that it will play well with the same folks who helped to make films like The Blindside a hit. While Trust may not be a feel good movie, it is one that parents should see with their kids if for nothing else but to open dialogue with their children.