As a former (still?) goody-goody I can attest that when you hold yourself to integrity and trying to always do the right thing, people start to trust you and just assume that you always have the best of intentions. And from time to time you hear an inner Machiavellian voice that wonders: what if you took advantage of all that good will? What if you took a hallpass to go steal M & M’s from Father Mike’s office during Physics class (actually, Kate and I would do this – then go up to Dale’s and talk to him for a while).
Such is the case of Stephen Glass, a journalist for The New Republic, who gets himself into a lot of hot water after he gets caught faking a story on computer hackers. Throughout the first part of the film he is always giving compliments and going the extra mile for his friends and co-workers. His good will is the kind that always make me suspicious – manipulation masquerading as self-pity. Are you mad at me? I’m sorry. One of my classmates in acting school was always doing that. She was an amazing singer and a bad-ass onstage but would come off stage and bawl her eyes out if her mic went out or if anything went wrong. The faux-fragility encourages other people to take care of you and defend you if anyone questions you. Surrounding themselves with a mystique of being on-the-go, in-the-know – yet oh so broken inside. Self-destructive chic.
Good movie all around and nice acting from Christian Hayden.