18. Tru Confessions (April 5, 2002)
Director: Paul Hoen
Stars: Clara Bryant, Shia LaBeouf, Mare Winningham
Lesson Learned: If your family suffers from enough mental and/or physical disabilities, TV producers will be all about it.
So, Shia LaBeouf is an esteemed actor now because Lars von Trier got his cock and balls out for onscreen boning in Nyphomaniac? And because he dropped acid in preparation for The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman? To those only now willing to bestow the former Even Stevens star with the title of thespian on that DDL tip, we have two words: Tru Confessions.
For this '02 DCOM, LaBeouf played a mentally handicapped character, the brother to actress Clara Bryant's titular Tru. Clara, bemoaning the hardships of her teenage life as the elder to a difficult sibling, enters a contest to win her own TV show. All of a sudden, that handicapped brother who made her life a mess really comes in handy.
Dubious plot turns aside, Tru Confessions is an essential for its early exhibition of LaBeouf's acting chops. Recently, the Transformers star that he's "done" with cookie-cutter Hollywood pictures. There's always the Disney Channel, Shia. It still loves you. —RS