A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes include playing to your strengths and having faith in yourself. The main takeaway is that we should all appreciate what we've got and that sometimes the simple things can bring most happiness. Unfortunately much of this message doesn't get through until the final few scenes of the movie. Some bullying takes place.
Positive Role Models
Tru has a loving family and warm friendships, but her negativity and self-absorbed attitude mean she doesn't appreciate this until the end of the movie. Her developmentally disabled brother Eddie is by far the better role model, showing kindness, authenticity, and an open heart. Eddie is played by a young Shia LaBeouf.
Some bullying and the word "retard" is used. Arguing and name calling within a family.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tru Confessions is a made-for-TV Disney movie that tugs on the heartstrings despite a hard-to-like lead character. Tru (Clara Bryant) is a self-absorbed teen with a developmental disabled twin brother, Eddie -- brilliantly played by a young Shia LaBeouf. The overall message is positive -- that we should love one another despite our differences -- but it is diluted by Tru's stroppy attitude, contempt for her parents, and focus on self-promotion. All these conflicting emotions will be challenging for sensitive kids to handle and there are some heart-wrenching moments watching Eddie struggle to understand different situations. There is also some bullying of Eddie -- a group of kids spit in his baseball cap and he is called "retard." Although in some ways this feels like an honest portrayal of life for a family with a disabled child, it's a shame that the abiding tone is one of negativity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
LaBeouf is the shining star in this made-for-TV Disney movie from 2002, playing developmentally-disabled teen Eddie with warmth and authenticity. This tender performance is the movie's saving grace, although -- be warned -- it's also the source of several tear-jerking moments. As his twin sister Tru, Bryant puts in a solid performance, but unfortunately her character is so irritating it's difficult to warm to her. She's rude to her Mom, blames her Dad for working too hard, and loses her temper with her brother.
Perhaps Tru Confessions is meant to give an insight into the challenges of growing up with a disabled sibling, but her endless navel gazing, obsession with filming herself, and lack of appreciation for her comfortable home and loving family make Tru the kind of person you just can't feel sorry for. It's not all misery and self pity -- we see the loving bond between the siblings, and Tru does just about redeem herself by the end. But the constant flow of negative emotion prevents this well-intended story from bringing any real joy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings
Movies with Characters Who Have Learning and Attention Issues and Developmental Disabilities
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