The Trouble with the Truth was a 2011 film that flew under the radar of many moviegoers, but those who saw it are nearly unanimous in their praise for it. I add myself to that short list.
Director and writer Jim Hemphills film had a limited release that year in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, so it is not a surprise that Durango audiences for the most part missed out. But Hemphill said a positive review on Roger Eberts website caught the eye of management at the Back Space Theatre, where it will be shown for the next two weekends.
The film is a simple one. A divorced couple, played by John Shea and Lea Thompson, are brought together upon the news that their daughter Jenny (Danielle Harris) is getting married. From that point on, Shea and Thompson have the screen almost exclusively to themselves. They rehash almost every aspect of their marriage, and we cant help but feel that their divorce was premature.
The minimalist and simple setting in a hotel and its restaurant, along with the dialog-driven story, make The Trouble with the Truth a sort of Breakfast Club for grown-ups.
Ive never heard that description, but its lovely, Thompson said from her Los Angeles home that she shares with her husband, producer and director Howard Deutch (Some Kind of Wonderful) and a small zoo full of animals.
Thompson helped her friend Hemphill in casting and location scouting for the film. That earned her credit as a producer of the film. Her roles are fewer and far between after a successful career on the big and small screens (Red Dawn, the Back to the Future trilogy and the NBC series Caroline in the City among many others). She is able to pick and choose her projects.
What I like so much is that its (Hemphills) vision, and its really rare to find that, to make the movie you dreamed of making, she said. I liked that theres a lot of tension. Youre so worried about whats going to happen and the stakes are so high, even though were relaxed in the conversation.
Its true. As viewers, it seems almost inevitable that the married Emily will end up spending the night with her former husband even though she has remarried. Sheas Robert has no such dilemma, but we also learn that he is not half the womanizer his wife thought him to be when they split. An onscreen romance is rekindled throughout, and Shea plays his role perfectly. What we see at first as a cocky ladies man turns out to be a much more vulnerable and sympathetic character who obviously believes Emily is the one who got away.
Whether The Trouble with the Truth is a date movie is debatable. The film raises many issues that could make a couple feel uncomfortable if theyve experienced the same doubts and uncertainties as Robert and Emily. We learn that passion alone is not enough to sustain a marriage, but neither should mistrust and ennui be enough to end one.
Thompson hasnt done a film since, but she has stayed busy, because her daughters Madelyn and Zoey are now working in the business as well.
Now that my daughters are actors, Howards working, Maddys writing a script, theres always something going on around here. Im shooting head shots its very creative at my house, Thompson said.
While I had her on the phone, I had a few burning questions of my own as a fellow child of the 1980s. First and foremost: Was she as disgusted by the nearly blasphemous remake of Red Dawn as I was? Short answer, No.
It was too bad that it didnt do well, because I had a friend in it, but no it didnt disgust me except for the fact that Im old, she said. What was great about that movie was that all the special effects really happened there was no CGI. Everything that blew up really blew up, and it was really fun.