Trust the Man

"Extraordinary"

Trust the Man Review


Something has made Bart Freundlich step away from torrid family melodrama, and thank goodness for it. The writer-director's Trust the Man is a grown-up and intelligent version of a romantic comedy, and for all that it is fluffy and simple entertainment, it's also very good.Julianne Moore, who has kept her talent for comedy a secret, plays Rebecca, a successful (if neurotic) actress who spends much of her time spurning advances from her bored, sex-addicted stay-at-home husband, Tom (David Duchovny). Tom's best friend is Rebecca's younger brother Tobey (Billy Crudup, ditto on the keen and heretofore hidden comedy prowess), a slacker freelance writer who is far more preoccupied with his therapist, his parking spot, and his own mortality than he is with the mounting frustration of longtime girlfriend Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal), an aspiring children's book author with a ticking biological clock.Each couple is in one of those familiar ruts always showing up in advice columns. Since Tom became a house husband, sex is pretty much his only hobby, and it makes Rebecca less and less interested. And Elaine wants to know when Tobey will snap out of his immature haze, marry her already - after seven years of dating - and give her babies.Their problems are not unique, certainly, and hardly groundbreaking, but they are relatable, as are their strategies for coping. Being savvy modern New Yorkers, they mostly rely on a steady dose of therapy, meeting for meals at an endless parade of Manhattan eateries, and talking. Lots and lots of talking, over coffee, at a hot dog stand, on the phone, Tom with Tobey, Elaine with Rebecca, Rebecca with Tobey. These people are nothing if not self-involved and self-aware.But surprisingly, they are not as annoying as hyper-verbal, problem-ridden New Yorkers of the movies can often be. Freundlich created characters who are whiny indeed, but are so darn affable and charming that they aren't aggravating about it. Though Rebecca and Elaine are clearly set up to be "right" in their relationship woes, they easily could have been uncommunicative nags. And the guys bumble around with clueless selfishness, dipping into infidelity and cloaking themselves in smart ass comments and defiant irresponsibility. But Freundlich dresses them both in such a charming mien that they are precisely the men that women fall for despite themselves. Plus, everyone clings to witty sarcasm as the defense mechanism of choice, making them entertaining and likable despite (or because of) their faults.It certainly helps that the entire cast is first rate and playing to their considerable strengths. Duchovny is charming and every inch a leading man, even within an ensemble, and Gyllenhaal can make even baby mania appealing. But both Crudup - always packaging himself as a "serious actor" despite his pin-up idol good looks - and Moore, who is arguably one of the best actresses working today, are winsome and goofy and veritable revelations of comedic acting. He's gawky and playful and she's self-deprecating and sharp, and both need to vow, right now, to do more grown-up comedies. We know how funny they can be; they can't hole up in serious drama forever.The leads are aided by a wonderful supporting cast that is really a parade of hilarious cameos - Bob Balaban and Garry Shandling as psychiatrists, Ellen Barkin as a book editor interested in a little more than Elaine's manuscript, Eva Mendes as a friend of Tobey's from college who still causes him to embarrass himself horribly.Trust the Man does have a few issues - for all that it is intelligent and mature, it's still a slight and breezy romantic comedy. And though Freundlich is a sharp writer, he goes a little adrift in the third act, not really able to wrap everything up without resorting to the handy clichés of the genre and an overly tidy little bow. But as far as quibbles go, these are rather small, when compared to the funny and entertaining whole.Trust the lady, too.


Trust the Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st September 2006

Box Office USA: $1.5M

Budget: 9

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Production compaines: Trust the Man LLC

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 73

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Tim Perrell

Starring: as Tom, as Rebecca, as Tobey, as Elaine

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.