Trust David Schwimmer

Trust David Schwimmer
It's hard to believe that anyone who came from Friends is capable of handling more than crappy sequels, mediocre comedies, slashers and forgettable rom-coms, but David Schwimmer has remarkably proven with his sophomore directorial effort that he can go to a dark place without a laugh track in the background. Based upon a play, Trust tells the story of a wholesome suburban family nearly destroyed after 14-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato) is lured and raped by a 30-something child molester, who posed as a 16-year-old pen pal named Charlie online. Devastated by this tragedy, her father becomes obsessed with bringing justice to the man who raped his daughter, nearly tearing his family apart in the process. For the first half-hour of Trust, Schwimmer hooks his viewers by making them watch happy scenes that inevitably foreshadow Annie's rape. Unfortunately, after the sexual assault takes place, it becomes fairly apparent that Schwimmer has a lot to learn about shooting theatrical films, as every scene is blatantly staged like a play or "TV movie of the week," making the film far less effective and moving. Besides Liana Liberato's brilliant performance as the confused and emotionally unstable Annie, the film fails to touch viewers and is shockingly full of inappropriately humorous scenes that include Freudian slips, laughable dialogue and a scene between Clive Owen and Noah Emmerich's character one would only think they'd see in a Family Guy episode. Clive Owen and Catherine Keener are great as the devastated parents, but something tells me if Tiffani-Amber Theissen and Luke Perry were cast instead, the film would pretty much play out the same way. Trust deals with challenging subject matter and if it was handled with more care, it could have been a deeply poignant work. The film's special features include forgettable interviews with the cast and crew and a behind-the-scenes featurette showcasing Schwimmer's directorial "skills." (VVS)