September 7, 2006
|Trust the Man (R)
David Duchovny and Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal play two couples in various states of romantic and relationship frustration in Trust the Man, an overly talky yet strangely predictable love story.
Rebecca (Moore) is an accomplished actress with two children. Though she’s professionally successful, her marriage to husband Tom (Duchovny) is a bit bumpy. Tom gave up his job in advertising to take care of the couple’s kids and is now floundering with his purpose and the meaning of his life and all that forehead-wrinkling stuff. He’s also having a hard time getting Rebecca in the sack, leaving him in a state of constant horniness that makes Tom easy pickings for the horny divorced mom in his son’s preschool class.
Rebecca’s brother Tobey (Crudup), also Tom’s best friend, is having a little crisis of his own. He’s afraid of death — a fear that’s also making it hard for him to live and mature with girlfriend Elaine (Gyllenhaal). Elaine suddenly finds herself wanting children and marriage and is beginning to realize that Tobey probably doesn’t.
These couples fight, they break up, they sulk, the boys and girls meet up to talk among themselves and try to figure out, you know, life. This involves a lot of talking, some of it cute, some of it a bit clever but most of it extremely familiar. This film’s greatest flaw is that it in no way differentiates itself from every other relationships-focused dramady released in the last decade. He’s too closed, she’s too judgmental, she wants a baby, he won’t grow up. Move the pieces around, change which member of the couple wears which personality description, add a different set of songs from the indie side of the album adult alternative play list and you could re-release the film in another six months with a title like She Loves Him or Me and Us or some other married-people-romance-type title.
Trust the Man isn’t necessarily bad — the performances are exactly what you’d expect from this above-average collection of actors, the writing is acceptable if not stellar — but like a sparkless first date, it’s forgettable. C-
— Amy Diaz
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