TRUST THE MAN
Rebecca (Julianne Moore) is a successful actress rehearsing for her next stage play, while her husband Tom (David Duchovny) stays at home to look after the children. When their relationship becomes strained, Tom starts an affair and Rebecca too, is flattered by the attentions of a young actor. Meanwhile, Rebecca's younger brother Tobey (Billy Crudup) and his aspiring children's author girlfriend Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal) are having problems with their relationship. She is keen to get married and have a baby, but Tobey can't help running away from commitment. Life in New York has never seemed so turbulent, as both couples struggle with their emotions in order to work out what they really want.
Review by Louise Keller:
While the title implies that it is the man who should be trusted, in fact writer/director Bart Freudlich's slickly scripted romantic comedy asks its characters to trust themselves. It's winter in New York and two couples symbolically battle rain, wind and snow as their relationships skid on thin ice. There are some funny lines, novel situations and for the most part, the film is amusing, even though some of the laughs are contrived.
The best moments are those that are grounded in reality, like that scene late at night in a snow storm, when Billy Crudup's Tobey discovers his car has been towed away. It is much more than the inconvenience - after all, we have learned that Tobey more or less lives in his car and spends most of his waking hours securing a parking spot. But for Maggie Gyllenhaal's Elaine, his girlfriend of seven years, the fact that he is more concerned about his car than about their future together, comes as the final straw.
Theirs is the relationship we care about most with Crudup and Gyllenhaal shining as the couple who see their situation from totally different points of view. David Duchovny is endearing as Tom, the sex-obsessed house husband who starts going to Sex Addicts R Us meetings, playing against Freudlich's wife Julianne Moore, who as Rebecca, has the least opportunity to be vulnerable. 'The world is not against you,' Bob Balaban's troubled psychiatrist tells Tobey, who finds his old flame (Eva Mendes) keen to hold herself against him. Ellen Barkin has a scene stealing cameo as Elaine's would-be publisher, who has more than children's books on her mind.
Freudlich canvasses the differences between the sexes, as Tobey and Tom hedge their bets and Elaine and Rebecca bring their emotional issues to a head. It's uplifting and although the resolution is a tad too pat, we have been in good company.
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TRUST THE MAN (M)
CAST: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bob Balaban, Ellen Barkin, Justin Barth, Liam Broggy
PRODUCER: Sidney Kimmel, Tim Perell
DIRECTOR: Bart Freundlich
SCRIPT: Bart Freundlich
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Orr
EDITOR: John Gilroy
MUSIC: Clint Mansell
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kevin Thompson
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 26, 2006