Writer: Andy Bellin
Starring: Liana Liberato
Chris Henry Coffey
This film about the dangers of meeting people online helps raise awareness, but at times is very frustrating.
Annie (Liberato) is a 14 year old girl, who like most 14 year olds spends her nights online chatting to her friends. While on one of her favourite sites she meets 15 year Charlie (Coffey), and they strike up a close bond. After months of chatting and 'falling in love' they meet up, but Charlie isn't 15, he's in his 30's. He manages to convince her that age doesn't matter and they spend the day together, but when he finally gets her alone he takes advantage of her. Thus sending her and her family on a emotional journey. Liberato as Annie is believable and very sweet, and for her first ever film role she does extremely well. But, at times I found her annoying and extremely naïve. Now this isn't her fault, but I found her choices, especially when finally meeting Charlie, absurd and it effected my feelings for the character. Despite this she is a very promising young actress and she is certainly one to watch.
Coffey, who plays Charlie, portrays the character very well. He doesn't come off as violent or aggressive which is exactly how the character should be. The way he was able to make Annie feel safe, and the way he played it was really clever and he certainly gave the character a lot of variation. Annie's father Will (Owen), is a truly phenomenal character and Owen is amazing in the role. He gave Will layer after layer, and you could really see each and every emotion he was feeling. Each time they learnt something new about the attack or Charlie, you could see his characters thought process, and this is what made him so believable.
Lynn (Keener) is Annie's mother, and her journey through the film was extremely emotional. Keener's performance was lovely to watch, and with each new emotion she really grew and became the character. The strain it puts on the relationship between her, Will & Annie is lovely to watch purely because of the wonderful acting from all three. After the attack, Annie goes to see a therapist, Gail (Davis). She is a caring woman who clearly loves her job and really cares about Annie. Davis performs to her best, and as usual she never fails to produce the right emotions for each scene. It was a shame she wasn't in it more, but her scenes were perfect all the same.
David Schwimmer clearly has a good eye for directing because this film is very well made, and at times it is very different to many other films out there. After years in front of the camera you would think he had learnt something about being behind the camera, and judging from this film you can clearly see he has. If he keeps making films like this, I predict a good future for him as a director. The writing is good, but at time it become repetitive and frustrating, especially with Annie. The way she couldn't see what Charlie had done to her till the very end, I found to be extremely unbelievable and made her character a tad annoying (as I mentioned before). All in all it is a very eye opening film, but the writing lets it down the most. In the end, I do recommend it, but maybe to rent rather than buy.