The kids were in bed, the lights were down, and the popcorn was popped…movie time!
The extra special element about this film is that it was produced by a homeschooler! Isaac Alongi, homeschooled from grades 1-12, was 11 when he started producing his own backyard films. Today Isaac attributes his successful career to his homeschool education. He says, “Homeschooling allowed me to pursue things I was passionate about – in a way that would be far more difficult in a traditional educational setting.” Pretty cool, right?!
Intruiged, I pushed play…
About Trust Fund
I received the DVD version of the Trust Fund movie. It is rated PG for “mild thematic elements and brief smoking”. Suggested audience is 12+. I decided to watch this movie alone for the first time. I wanted to watch for any immodesty or inappropriate scenes before watching it with my family.
Trust Fund follows the Donahue family, especially younger sister Reese, an aspiring writer, as she discovers a secret – her deceased mother left her and her sister millions of dollars in a trust fund.
Although Reese’s father encourages her to get a job and find her own way in life, because he’s been a permissive parent and has continued to loan Reese money, Reese can not fathom the idea of getting a job. Instead, Reese decides to take matters into her own hands. After she manages to log in to her father’s bank account and transfer her inheritance money to her own account, Reese packs up immediately and runs away to Italy.
As you might imagine, a host of trouble awaits her in Italy as she tries to navigate life on her own. She makes plenty of mistakes, trusts her shady live-in boyfriend, and ends up losing her entire inheritance. But as the prodigal story goes, when Reese wants to come back home, her father welcomes her with open arms.
Meanwhile Reese’s older sister, Audrey, has been diligently working at her father’s publishing company and is the picture perfect, dutiful daughter. Throughout the movie we see how she deals with the pain and frustration of how her sister’s wrong doings affect her.
This movie is all about a parent’s unconditional love and forgiveness. And although it isn’t mentioned in the movie, Christians quickly recognize that God sees us just like this. When we come to the end of our rope and have nowhere else to go, as long as we are truly repentant, God welcomes us with open arms and He takes us in, just as we are, no matter how far we’ve fallen.
With beautiful scenery, lighting, angles and superb acting, this movie is an easy and enjoyable watch. So many Christian films today feature terrible acting and they are pretty cheesy, too. Trust Fund is definitely in a class all its own.
I’m glad I watched this film alone for the first time because the movie opens with Reese in a nightie that exposes more than I feel comfortable with. There is also a scene in Italy where Reese wakes up and greets her boyfriend, so they are obviously living together. Reese and a friend are also seen in bathing suits. I’m a little more conservative than most, so these scenes probably won’t bother most families.
A few parts of the storyline seemed a bit disjointed. For example, the father goes to the hospital for heart trouble but nothing ever comes of it and that part seems unrelated to the rest of the story. It also felt strange that Reese went from loving her boyfriend in Italy to loving another guy in her hometown so quickly and easily. I think I would’ve enjoyed the romance parts more if we had been introduced to this hometown guy in the beginning of the film, before Reese flees to Italy.
Some parts were a bit unrealistic, too. For instance, after just a few tries, Reese is able to hack into her father’s bank account by merely guessing at the password. In real life, a financial password would be far too complex for a young girl to just guess at.
I definitely related to the older sister, Audrey, throughout the movie. She was by far my favorite character…especially enjoyed all of her chocolate nibbles! I thought the movie did a good job of helping us feel what the older sister was going through, as she too had to deal with her sister’s failures, not just the father. In fact, I felt that the father was unfairly more harsh with the older sister than with the younger sister.
Audrey doesn’t forgive her sister right off the bat. It takes time. And I think that’s so true in real life. After stealing money from the family and betraying them, a little apology isn’t going to mend everything. Not by a long shot. But as the sisters’ relationship is allowed time, it begins to heal and they become friends again.
It was hard for me to relate to Reese or the father. Bringing Reese back into the family without any kind of punishment or discipline is hard to swallow, but this is the story of the prodigal son and that is how God takes us back. He doesn’t give us what we deserve. He gives us grace and forgiveness. I really wish that nugget of truth had been brought out more in the movie. Trust Fund doesn’t have any references to God’s love for us or any Christian references at all. I think without that missing piece, this story comes off as being a little unbelievable. Because in real life fathers don’t always extend so much grace to their children and abandoned friends won’t just start right back up where things left off. In fact, a responsible father would show some tough love to his child and there would certainly be consequences to Reese’s entitled and disrespectful behavior. She would likely have to repay those she hurt in some way.
Having watched the White Collar TV series, it was fun to see the familiar face of Willie Garson, playing the detective Audrey hires to find her sister. We find out later he’s also a friend of the father and he is the one who brings Reese safely home again.
I didn’t receive the book, but Love Was Near is a book designed to accompany the Trust Fund movie and is recommended for girls age 12 and up. This book goes behind the scenes in the movie and delves into some deeper topics. There is also a free study guide for the movie that goes into more of the meaning behind the movie. It features lots of discussion questions and scripture references. This would be an excellent study if you are planning to watch the movie with a young teen or small group.
Overall, the movie was a fun watch. I don’t think it is family movie quality based on the inappropriate parts I mentioned earlier, so I can’t really recommend it to families. It is a fun movie but I think it is probably better suited as a girls’ night out movie with your adult girlfriends.