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  Publicity Stills of "Trust The Man"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Director: Bart Freundlich
Cast: Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, Billy Crudup, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eva Mendes
RunTime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: TBA
Official Website:

Opening Day: 7 Dec 2006


A comedy following the romantic escapades of two couples--a successful actress and her stay at home husband and her slacker younger brother and his aspiring novelist girlfriend--as they search for love in the midst of careers, family, infidelity and the ever-daunting search for Manhattan street parking.

Movie Review:

A romantic dramedy set in New York, the tale follows the love lives of two good-looking contemporary couples – married duo Rebecca (Julianne Moore) and Tom (David Duchovny) who have two kids together, and live-in couple Tobey (Billy Crudup), who happens to be Rebecca’s younger brother, and Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhall) who have dated for seven years. After a series of cheating, lying, trials and separation, both men realise that their lives with their significant other is a lot more important and worthwhile to them than they thought and desperately attempt to salvage their relationships before it’s too late.

In an attempt to be complex, the story uses convenient opposing desires and characteristics for each couple, but fails to give an appropriate/realistic explanation as to why they are that way. Example, the girlfriend, Elaine wants to get married and have kids, while Tobey, the overgrown teenager of a boyfriend wants to stay single because he has an apparent fear of death and thus, doesn’t want to participate in life’s more important events and decisions. Not that it makes much sense, but that is the angle they are trying to sell to audiences.

Same goes for the married couple, Rebecca has lost her interest in sex due to her busy career as a successful New York actress, while Tom, her stay-at-home husband has become gradually more fixated with it, probably due to all the free time he now has. In an attempt to feed his desire, he begins turning to porn and eventually an affair with an attractive single mother he meets at his son’s daycare. What’s odd is that the affair makes him realise that he is a sex addict and is in need of treatment. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem a believable plotline that not being able to have sex with the wife and finding other outlets for it qualifies him as being a sex addict.

This movie had a couple of decent scenes and good laughs thrown in, but there were also a lot of half-baked story telling (that sometimes didn’t even have much to do with the main plot) and recycled clichés about the meaning of love in the big city that made this movie fall short. While this movie was supposedly dubbed to be homage to Woody Allen’s earlier films, the quality of this movie is obviously not quite there.

As the plot moves along, it becomes increasingly predictable and it hits the climax with an exaggerated and unconvincing finale that stretch a little too much and too long for it’s own good. Although with that said, there is one thing that has salvaged this movie, and that is the star-studded cast. Considering the material they had on hand, they indeed have put up a good effort to make this work. The main actors have done great and notably; David Duchovny is most impressive of the lot. Playing Tom, the stay-at-home dad. Here, he sheds his tense Fox Moulder persona to replace it with a charming sophistication and subtle wit for most of his scenes.

In the end, Trust the Man makes for a watchable movie, but it doesn’t exactly have any punches, impact or significant message about the meaning of modern love for its audiences.

Movie Rating:

(Other than the terrific cast, there really isn’t much else that this movie can offer audiences)

Review by Jolene Tan


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