The ins and outs of Hollywood have always sparked interest, and I’ve been dying to see any movie that delves into the behind the scenes world of agents, casting and personal drama. Trust Me, directed by Clark Gregg of The Avengers fame, seems to deliver just that. On the surface anyway, because Trust Me isn’t that good at all.
The first appearance of Sam Rockwell’s character has him wearing sunglasses, listening to hip-hop and eating a bunch of grapes. I’m not sure how or why this happens, but it does. Stuff like this happens a lot throughout the movie. Sometimes I feel there’s a struggling urge to make me laugh, at other times I feel I’m just expected to allow this to happen and think nothing of it.
Gregg’s direction doesn’t help either, which is pandering and flounders around the plot of the movie. He needs to be much more direct in his work, keep his camera tight and stop shaking the damn thing around, especially when it’s just characters talking to one another.
Character wise, the movie suffers hugely there too. Gregg’s leading man performance isn’t a likeable one – nor is Rockwell’s supporting performance. Nobody in the movie is likeable, and that’s the biggest problem. Gregg’s performance as Howard comes across as sleazy, oddly fitting in today’s times of Hollywood allegations and the #MeToo movement. But either way, Howard as a character is instantly dislikeable, which is never good for your leading man.
The writing is the worst part of the movie though, not a single decent bit of dialogue in sight. Rockwell specifically and his line delivery just seems truly bored, as if he’s in anguish even at the thought of having to be in the movie for another moment. I can’t blame him honestly, I would feel that way as well.
And on a briefer note, considering this movie centres on the talent of child actors, the child actors chosen to portray these roles are unbelievably shit. I’m not keen on child actors to begin with, they’re very rarely capable of ever giving a strong performance; but Trust Me managed to find the worst of the bunch and I presume that’s because the entire budget was spent on securing Rockwell.
Unfortunately for Clark Gregg, I do not, as his film title suggests, trust him. His direction is poor, akin to that of a made-for-TV movie and his dialogue throughout is hammy and awful. Such an interesting premise that is totally crushed by a cast that, for the most part, should’ve been more on form than they are. Gregg’s leading role is fine enough – but I don’t know enough about his character or him as an actor to really nail him to one specific role just yet. What I do know though is that this isn’t the role for him.