Film Reviews

When Movies Look at Movies

Everybody's running a con in this inside-the-biz comedy.

These reviews are part of our continuing coverage of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, which wraps on November 14:

Trust Me. Making its world premiere at FLIFF, Trust Me satirizes the cutthroat movie industry. It's a buddy film about a small-time conman with a heart of gold and his socially inept pal with a gift for impressions. Shelley Long (of Cheers fame) plays the supporting role of the wizened agent, but her talents are eclipsed by those of a pair of lesser-known actors in the film's starring roles. Cory Pendergast (as conman Danny Mars) infuses his character with the kind of charisma that makes him lovable despite his sleazy charity scams and street cons. But the movie achieves its remarkableness mostly from the abilities of Enn Reitel (as Joe Schmolansky) not only to mimic the voices of a who's who of Hollywood but to create a likable doofus who somehow gets transformed into a confident sellout. With a cast of self-serving characters from all levels of society — underworld figures, movie executives, and more — all running their own cons, writer/director Andrew Kazamia succeeds in creating a film that makes a statement without losing its sense of humor. Case in point: the hilarious behind-the-scenes glimpses of the fictional porn version of the movie Thrust Me. With believable, dynamic characters, the movie still has a tidy Hollywood quality in its resolution, which winks at the audience as karma delivers the characters to the destinies they deserve. (Friday, November 10, 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 12, 1:30 p.m., Las Olas 15 at Riverfront; 96 minutes.)

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Marya Summers