Trust is an erotic drama about some pretty young people testing the limits of their love and devotion. It’s deftly directed with a sensual touch, an entertainingly melodramatic edge and a distaste for chronological storytelling that would make Guy Ritchie blush. It’s the kind of character-based erotica that gets more out of performances, clothing and displays of affluence than bare bodies and consummated tension. Although adapted from screenwriter Kristen Lazarian’s play Push, Trust feels like it could’ve been a slightly sexier version of Gossip Girl or an adaptation of anything from the mid-2010s teen / young-adult romance craze. Every character acts like a selfish idiot in pursuit of knowing whether their lover is loving on someone else. It’s pretty enjoyable.
Brooke (Victoria Justice) runs an art gallery. She’s married to Owen (Matthew Daddario), a lovable local news anchor who thirsts for more action. Her first big artist is Ansgar Doyle (Lucien Laviscount), a hot up-and-comer who only paints nudes of the women he sleeps with. Owen thinks Brooke is sleeping with Ansgar on a work trip to Paris; Brooke suspects Owen is sleeping around when “working late.” Brooke hires Amy (Katherine McNamara) to flirt with Owen in New York while she and Ansgar travel to Paris. She wants to test her husband’s fidelity without realizing he suspects her own unfaithfulness. After all, she packs some pretty revealing clothing for her “professional trip.” The fun part is figuring out who sleeps with whom. It’s not like any of these characters learns a lesson after all of this.
For whatever reason, the story is structured as a series of climaxes that lead into revelatory flashbacks. The drama is the key here, and I’m not sure it would be any less engaging told in a straightforward fashion. Then again, it couldn’t be any more engaging. The cast — comically gorgeous in the way they must be in such movies — digs into big, silly character moments. It’s incredibly sincere, which is precisely what this material needs because otherwise it would feel goofy and affected.
The logline pitches Trust as a story about being in a committed relationship and questioning whether your partner is faithful to you. That’s not really borne out thematically in the story, particularly with the saccharine ending. There’s not much depth here, which is just fine. It’s engaging, sultry and dramatically compelling. Again: Who sleeps with whom? What is the fallout? Why are they doing this to one another? Are they all crazy? It seems so. Thank goodness.