The Love Formula

The film Trust written and directed by Hal Hartley portrays the romance between two troubled misfits who feel disowned by their parents. 

Maria, who is pregnant and a high school dropout, supposedly kills her father because of disgust and disappointment. But in reality, he died of heart failure. Her mother immediately disowns her, forcing her to move out of the house. While Maria wanders town looking for a place to stay, she comes across Mathew, an educated and moody electronics repairman. 

They develop a strong connection to each other in which they are accepting and understanding of one another. They understand the hardships one another faces as they continue to live with their insulting parents.

Throughout the film, Maria and Mathew build a sense of mutual admiration and trust. When Mathew asks her to marry him, Maria constructs a formula: respect + admiration + trust = love

I believe that this formula represents their relationship because they are essential factors in what makes them happy. In addition, I think that Maria and Mathew’s relationship solves the problems they face because it allows them to comfort each other. Maria helps Mathew stay sane as he struggles to keep the same job for a long period of time. Mathew cares for Maria by making her feel loved. He helped her become more confident in wearing her glasses, which ultimately allowed Maria to accept herself. Both Maria’s mother and Mathew’s father are emotionally abusive, and Mathew’s father is physically abusive too. By getting married, they have the opportunity to start a new life without any constraints such as their parents.

3 thoughts on “The Love Formula


    This film sounds really interesting! I haven’t seen it before, but after reading your article, I completely agree with this concept! Matthew and Maria’s relationship seems to be based completely off of trust and teamwork, as they both support each other through their good and bad periods of their lives.


  2. Asta S

    I think that Maria and Mathew’s relationship is true love, and I agree with you when you say that they define love through a literal formula. Both characters have to run away from their restricting lives with their (awful) parents, and they are only able to do this through respect+admiration+trusting one another. Overall I enjoy what you wrote, and it made me think more deeply about the relationship the two characters had in the movie


  3. Rachel M

    I think that the trust aspect is really key in this situation. Both characters really trust that they will not be judged by one another. When Maria begins to witness Mathew changing himself for the sake of society’s expectations, she calls him out about it. I suppose that would directly tie into your point on admiration. They admire each other’s true character, and because of that, they protect one another. I think it’s also interesting to note that Maria trusts that Mathew and she will be able to raise a child, even though neither of them have conventional jobs or lives. She has a deep understanding that a good parent is much more than simply job benefits, but someone who is willing to commit to raising a child.


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