(Warning! This Review May Contain Spoilers!)
I don’t particularly like movies about the inner workings of Hollywood. The only one I ever saw was The Player (1992), but what got me to want to review Clark Gregg’s Trust Me was the fact that Clark Gregg and Sam Rockwell were in it. I’m only familiar with Gregg from his Marvel movies appearance; never heard of him until I saw him in Iron Man (2008), and I really didn’t start taking interest in him until he took center stage in that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D series. He then became one of those actors I just like to watch. Sam Rockwell I’ve been a fan of since his Galaxy Quest (1999) role and loved him in Moon (2009), Seven Psychopaths (2012) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), so seeing both of these actors in one movie was something I just couldn’t pass up. Plus I heard it was a comedy.
The only issue I take with the movie is that it’s strangely being marketed as a comedy. Even on the back of the DVD they blatantly state it’s a comedy. Go to IMDB and the genre it’s mentioned in is also a comedy. Well, I can tell you it’s simply not a a comedy. Sure it’s got some funny moments and lines in it, but this pretty much a drama. Comedy/Drama might be at least a little more accurate, but claiming it’s an outright comedy is wrong in my opinion. Not that that makes it any less of a film. It’s a damn good movie, it’s just I was prepared to see a comedy and as the movie progressed it’s obvious I was watching a drama instead.
Gregg plays Hollywood talent agent, Howard Holloway, who represents child actors. The first scene after the opening credits kind of tips you off to the drama aspect when we see Holloway lying on some stairs, bleeding to death as two women attend him. It’s a brief scene, shot from above, titillating but how did he get there, well, you’re about to find out.
After a poetic voice over from Gregg we see either he’s not a very good agent or he’s having a dry spell. He’s banging this chick, Janice (Molly Shannon) or, at least, banged her once, while he’s repping her kid. This all goes to shit as he attempts to cut a deal for the kid’s next project.
During his audition he hears some pretty realistic distress from a girl and accidentally busts in on her audition thinking something actually untoward was happening to her. It’s clear whomever this chick is she’s got acting chops.
This chick, 14-year old, Lydia (Saxon Sharbino), seeks Howard out and does her meet-and-greet as he’s coming off the sudden loss of that kid client and his Mom. He also meets her father, Ray (Paul Sparks), who’s clearly unlikable, overprotective and just a plain old asshole. From the interactions between daughter and father it’s also clear there are “family problems” and it appears the daughter knows how to manipulate her Dad into making him do what she wants.
Despite all these red flags Howard decides to represent her, while at the same time crushing heavily on neighbor, Marcy (Amanda Peet who kind of looks like Maria Shriver now). Sam Rockwell plays Gregg’s nemesis, Aldo, who’s a better agent and has no morals whatsoever.
If any of these “inside Hollywood” movies are to believed, the inner workings is awash with unscrupulous characters who will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means ruining another’s career. Of all the characters in this film only Holloway and Marcy have any backbone and morality.
Notice that I didn’t mention Lydia?
Yeah, this movie has a nice character twist concerning her that she reveals at the very end. She walks that fine line of victim and victimizer. Very good acting by Sharbino. Hard to hate her character at one point despite these revelations. I should mention Holloway does, or did, have a dark side making him no better than Rockwell’s Aldo and that back-story involves the death of one of his past clients. Yeah, as you can see, it’s a pretty dark tale at its core, but a damn fine acted and plotted one thanks to director/writer, Gregg.
Felicity Huffman and Alison Janney have small parts playing unlikable Hollywood types, even Huffman’s real life husband, William H. Macy, is involved, making a cameo in one scene as a weird car salesman.
Anchor Bay releases this movie here in the US on August 26th on DVD only. And the DVD comes with no extras at all, not even a trailer. This is one flick I would have liked a commentary on. Anyhow the 2.35:1 widescreen transfer looks fantastic and the 5.1 Dolby Digital audio is perfect too.
Subtitles are in English SDH only.