Saturday, June 18, 2011
14-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato, TV's "Sons of Anarchy") talks with her friend Charlie online almost every day, and sometimes even on the phone. Charlie is 15, and plays for his high school's volleyball team, just like Annie hopes to do. He just "gets her," as she puts it, and she can't imagine not talking to him online. He gives her tips about her volleyball playing and she even makes her high school's team because of him. But Charlie has a confession to make: he's not actually 15, he's 20, and he is a sophomore on the volleyball team at UC Berkeley. But it's okay, because he's still the same Charlie, right? They continue talking and a few days later he confesses yet again: he lied the first time - he's 25 and a graduate student. He even sends Annie a few pictures of himself, and she finds him cute.
Later, he asks Annie if she wants to meet up. He lives in California but is willing to fly out to Chicago, where she lives, to meet her. She says yes, and they meet at a mall, where Annie gets a surprise: Charlie is not 25 ... he's actually much older. But he's still the same Charlie she has been talking to all this time, and he treats her to ice cream in the mall, and she decides to go back to his motel room with him; he's bought her a gift, some sexy lingerie, and wants to see her wearing it.
On one hand, I wanted to scream at Annie for being so stupid. The minute she saw he was not actually 25, she should have run right out of the mall - which, by the way, I am 99% sure was filmed at Twelve Oaks here in Novi, as I recognized the stores and a few of the benches. On the other hand, she seemed to be a bit lonely, and it was probably flattering that this older man was giving her all this attention, and saying he loved her; a 14-year-old should know better, but perhaps she didn't want to give up the illusion of the online relationship she had with Charlie.
Annie's parents are played by Clive Owen ("The Boys are Back") and Catherine Keener ("Cyrus"). In addition, Viola Davis ("The Help") plays a good part as Annie's therapist, with whom she eventually has a major breakthrough. Throughout the film, Annie insists that Charlie did not rape her, and that she loves him and he loves her; after the FBI tells her that his DNA profile matches a person who has raped three other young girls around her age, however, she realizes that all Charlie wanted was sex, and she has a meltdown.
Yes, definitely see this movie if you can. U of M figures prominently in many of the scenes, as Annie's brother goes there for his freshman year of college, and locals will recognize many other Ann Arbor scenes as well. The acting was so pitch-perfect that at times I forgot I was actually viewing a movie, as I watched the drama unfold before me. Trust is especially a good movie for teens to see, so that they realize the dangers of talking to strangers online, and that they can see that people are not always who they say they are.
Trust is currently playing exclusively at the State Theater in Ann Arbor (State St. & Liberty St.).