The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Hal Hartley is on his way to creating a distinctive film world, and although "Trust" is not a successful film, you can see his vision at work, and it's intriguing. Hartley has placed both this film and his last one, "The Unbelievable Truth" (1990), in a lower-middle-class world of soap opera cliches and sudden passions, and given his characters dialogue that sounds like the truisms of the desperate.
Both films star Adrienne Shelly, a diminutive, pouty Bardot type who is an ideal interpreter for Hartley's satirical goals.
"Trust" opens as Shelly, playing a Long Island high school student named Maria, puffs on a cigarette, adjusts her makeup, and informs her parents she's about to marry her no-good boyfriend, Anthony, who in her vision has his life all mapped out for himself: He'll go to school, play football, and join his father's construction company, "where he'll be pulling in a really bitchin' salary." She adds, as an afterthought, that she's pregnant. Her father dies of a heart attack seconds later, and her mother holds this against her for much of the film.
Her boyfriend is not much thrilled by her vision of their future, either. He's got his football practice to go to, and even when the season is over his plans do not include matrimony. The day goes downhill from there; her mother throws her out of the house, and then she meets a drifter named Matthew, who may not quite be a mass murderer, but perhaps only because he has not yet started. On the other hand, he may be just the sensible young man she needs in her life. It could go either way.
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